Peacekeeping, Criminal Justice, Humanitarian Aid

Although each of these entities might appear to be operating independently of each other, in reality their operations are intertwined. For example, peacekeeping sometimes is linked to the delivery of humanitarian goods and services. Humanitarian action requires security. Likewise, criminal justice is intended to reduce violence through punishment and legal deterrence. Sometimes humanitarian agreements can spill over into political agreements.

UN and AU special envoys outside the Presidential Palace in Khartoum after meeting with First Vice President & President of Southern Sudan, March 2007

Underlying all three types of response to the disaster in Darfur is individual governmental interest and policy-making. Through international organizations, governments may authorize the deployment of military force, and may vote for various sanctions. Mostly, governments pay for humanitarian operations. (About 75% of the ICRC’s annual budget comes from governmental donations.) Governments created the ICC and support the actions of its prosecutor and judges. Governments arrest and transfer those indicted to the ICC, or refuse to do so. Governments choose whether or not to put diplomatic pressure on the fighting parties — both to make peace, and to minimize the dangers to civilians and medical personnel.

A newly arrived, malnourished, and displaced Sudanese child is fed using a syringe in South Darfur, September, 2004

There is no doubt that outside governments have been slow to take decisive action to stop various atrocities in Darfur. Some are preoccupied with other situations, some are aligned with the Sudanese government, and some lack sufficient humanitarian concern.

When human rights are violated on a scale as massive as in Darfur, it takes full cooperation among various international bodies working in different areas as well as with local officials to bring relief and security to the innocent civilians of the area and to try to end the conflict.

What role can civilians play in ending the human rights violations in their own country?

What can you do as an individual to help stop the genocide in Darfur?

International Crisis Group: Crisis in Darfur
Oxfam International Humanitarian agencies warn Darfur operations approaching breaking point
UNHCR to resume protection activities in South Darfur
USAID from the American People to Sudan