Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Jimmy Carter on labelling the Darfur crisis 'genocide'

On his recent visit to Darfur, Jimmy Carter criticised the Bush and others for insisting on describing the atrocities as genocide. "There is a legal definition of genocide and Darfur does not meet that legal standard," Carter said. "The atrocities were horrible but I don't think it qualifies to be called genocide." He also said, "If you read the law textbooks...you'll see very clearly that it's not genocide and to call it genocide falsely just to exaggerate a horrible situation--I don't think it helps."
"Rwanda was definitely a genocide; what Hitler did to the Jews was; but I don't think it's the case in Darfur," Carter said. "I think Darfur is a crime against humanity, but done on a micro scale. A dozen janjaweed attacking here and there," he said, noting many refugees have survived the violence.
"I don't think the commitment was to exterminate a whole group of people, but to chase them from their water holes and lands, killing them in the process at random," he said. "I think you can call it ethnic cleansing."
He also pledged to hold world powers to their pledge of ending the "crime against humanity."
Carter has been catching a lot of nasty criticism on the internet for this. I think some of his neocon critics may be trying to settle scores with him for his recent book on the Middle East.
Jimmy Carter has got it right here, in my view. Moreover, his recent visit to Sudan, where he pushed past Sudanese officials because they were not allowing him to see things he thought were important shows a man of courage who deserves our respect.

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