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Disaster in Darfur and the responsibilities of France

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Begining of the conflict in Sudan's Darfur region.
  3. Debate on the qualification of exactions in Darfur as crimes of genocide.
  4. Beyond the interrogation on the existence or not of genocide.
  5. Responsibilities regarding international public law bron from the failures of Sudan to address these crimes.
  6. Annexes.

On 16 May 2006, resolution 1679 was unanimously adopted by the Security Council of the United Nations Organisation (UNO). It expressed its intention to consider conducting a ?United Nations Operation in Darfur? and called for the deployment of ?a joint African Union and United Nations technical assessment mission? . The resolution represented a strong step towards a direct intervention of the UNO peacekeeping forces in Sudan, intervention which has been more and more demanded by international organisations, media and some states. However, owing to a refusal of Sudan to let the United Nations (UN) conduct a larger mission, the only international force present in Darfur so far remains the African Union, through the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS). As a permanent member of the Security Council of the UN, an international actor, and an active promoter of Human Rights in the world, France must unavoidably feel concerned by the dramatic human situation in Sudan's Darfur region, and cannot ignore its international legal duties towards the conflict.

[...] The failure of Sudan to address such crimes leads to the right, and perhaps even duty, of France to react. III) Consequently of the failures of Sudan to address these crimes, the International community, and among it France, faces some responsibilities regarding international public law France has long been very reluctant to speak about genocide and even to intervene in Sudan. It for instance opposed UN economic sanctions proposed by the USA in August 2004, and long called the event a ?civil war?. On 6 August 2006, however, foreign minister P. [...]

[...] As a permanent member of this Council, France should at least support, and even promote sanctions against the Sudanese government, prosecution of criminals of war, and implementation of an effective peacekeeping force. Sudanese courts being unable or unwilling to prosecute criminals, the International Criminal Court (ICC) is theoretically competent to deal with crimes in Sudan. (See annex number France could alert ICC, pursuant to article 13(b) of the Rome Statute of ICC, so that it seized the dossier[15]. (See annexe number 4). [...]

[...] It is now mainly recognised that the targeted group in Darfur fits with the definition, since the victims identify themselves as belonging to the ?African? ethnicity and identify the perpetrators as The debate around the definition of crimes of genocide in Darfur concentrates on the mental element, meaning the of the government to eradicate the whole ?African? group. The USA position emphasizes massive, indiscriminate and systematic killings of African population from Fur, Massaleet and Zagawa ethnic communities. Conversely, UN investigating Commission pointed out the ?lack of genocidal intent? from the government, since during most raids only a part of the population the potential rebels- are executed, and since it organises refugee camps for fleeing population. [...]

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