Darfur: Peacekeeping and Atrocity Crimes Don't Mix

From Enough blogs Wed Nov 21 2012, 15:20:16

On November 13, 2012 the U.N./African Union Mission in Darfur, or UNAMID, made the decision to provide "medevac" (medical evacuation) to approximately 12 Sudan Armed Forces soldiers wounded following heavy fighting with rebel forces in North Darfur. The injured were taken to the city of el-Fasher, location of the primary SAF military base in Darfur. Such military clashes between the SAF and rebel forces have been escalating for many months, as has violence against civilians, especially by Khartoum's proxy forces in Darfur. All this occurs even as UNAMID has resolutely insisted that fighting and violence have diminished, thus justifying a draw-down in forces. But the grim truth is that UNAMID can't sustain an adequate security presence for the vast majority of locations in Darfur now threatened by violence from Khartoum-allied militia forces.

Why, then, would UNAMID choose to deploy its already vastly inadequate resources to evacuating Khartoum's combatants? The question is especially exigent since such medevac forms no part of UNAMID's mandate or the lengthy Status of Forces Agreement signed by Khartoum and the U.N./A.U. in February 2008.

To be sure, UNAMID spokesman Chris Cycmanick is narrowly accurate in declaring that this medevac does not directly contravene International Humanitarian Law (the medevac was "completely in line with International Humanitarian Law"), and several of the Geneva Conventions are clear on the legality of medical evacuation. But Cycmanick seriously misrepresents the situation by declaring medevac of SAF soldiers is part of the "core requirement of international humanitarian law, which falls under the Mission's mandate." International Humanitarian Law certainly governs the ...

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