In a New York Times oped published yesterday, actor and activist George Clooney called for renewed international attention to Darfur, including accountability for mass “torture rapes” committed by Sudan government forces.
Co-authored by the Enough Project's John Prendergast and Akshaya Kumar, the piece puts a spotlight on government violence against civilians, and calls for audits and alerts on gold mined in Darfur fueling war crimes in that region.
Mass atrocities continue to occur in Darfur with no external witness. This is also the case in Blue Nile and the Nuba Mountains, two southern regions devastated by the government’s scorched-earth tactics.
To avoid scrutiny, the [Sudan] government has spent millions of dollars provided by Qatar to set up “model villages,” where it encourages Darfuris displaced by violence to settle. Human Rights Watch recently documented a chilling incident of mass rape at one of these villages, Tabit … at least 221 women had been raped by soldiers of the Sudanese Army over a 36-hour period…
During Clooney, Prendergast and Kumar’s visits to Darfur, the Nuba Mountains and refugee camps in neighboring countries, they heard story after story like those from Tabit. These “torture rapes” are just one tool in Sudan’s criminal arsenal, which also includes aerial bombing of hospitals and agricultural fields, burning of villages and the denial of food aid.
International banks, gold refiners and associations like the Dubai Multi Commodities Center and the London Bullion Market Association should raise alerts for Sudanese gold and initiate audits to trace it all to its mine of origin to ensure that purchases are not fueling war crimes in Darfur.
Clooney, an actor and film producer, is the co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project with Prendergast, who is the founding director of the Enough Project. Akshaya Kumar is an Enough Project policy analyst on Sudan and South Sudan.
Read the full article here.
About the Enough Project
The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress aiming to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, Central African Republic, and areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough conducts intensive field research, develops practical policies to address these crises, and shares sensible tools to empower citizens and groups working for change. To learn more: www.enoughproject.org.
About the Satellite Sentinel Project
The Satellite Sentinel Project, co-founded by George Clooney and John Prendergast, is a partnership between the Enough Project and Not On Our Watch. SSP uses satellite imagery and forensic investigation to assess the human security situation, and detect, deter and document war crimes and crimes against humanity. SSP recently announced an expansion of its work to focus on the economic drivers of mass atrocities and human rights abuses, and to encompass some of the world’s most violent regions of conflict, including Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Central African Republic. To learn more: www.satsentinel.org.
Source: Enough Project