For Darfur, Accountability Before Peace - A Letter to the Editor of the Washington Post
Accountability for perpetrators and reparations for victims in Sudan's Darfur region are critical components missing from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's proposed solutions to the crisis ["What I Saw in Darfur; Untangling the Knots of a Complex Crisis," op-ed, Sept. 14].
While atrocities have been committed in the context of scarce resources, including water, these are certainly not the primary cause of the genocidal campaign waged by the Khartoum regime, which Mr. Ban failed to mention.
During Mr. Ban's recent trip to Sudan, President Omar al-Bashir named Ahmed Haroun, the Sudanese minister for humanitarian affairs, who is accused by the International Criminal Court of war crimes in Darfur, to co-chair an investigation into human rights violations there. Mr. Ban's silence about this outrageous appointment, as well as his failure to make justice a prerequisite for peace, is troubling.
The secretary general must pressure Sudan to arrest those accused of war crimes in Darfur, such as Mr. Haroun, and deliver them to The Hague. Upcoming peace talks will fail if reparations and accountability are not on the table.
The secretary general and the UN Security Council must put them there.
Chief Executive Officer
Physicians for Human Rights