Forestalling genocide an indispensable desideratum | Pakistan Today

Forestalling genocide an indispensable desideratum

By: Changezi Sandhu

If you cannot catch the fish, you have to drain the sea. ؎Mao Tse-tung

Brutality is the linchpin of oppression. Oppression, in turn, when it fails to garner popular support, resorts to orchestrate deadliest of genocides to straightjacket the vox populi. Several instances can be rehashed to establish the veracity of this fact.

In 1994, communal tension erupted between majority Hutu and minority Tutsi in Rwanda. Hutu nationalists started to kill people of Tutsi in Kigali, that was the capital of Rwanda. On 6 April 1994, the killing spread to the whole country and took the shape of genocide particularly after the shooting down of a plane, carrying Rwanda’s President Juvénal Habyarimana and Burundi’s president Cyprien Ntaryamira. Within the next three months, more than 800,000 people were slaughtered from both sides. Around 2 million people fled to refugee camps in Congo and other neighboring countries. The world response to the genocide was tepid at best and totally indifferent at worse. Even the UN kept its eyes closed. Later on, peacekeeping missions were sent, and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda took more than eight years to complete the trial against the instigators of the genocide.

Over the killing, rapes, and torture and depriving Kashmiris of fundamental rights, the breached articles of the convention on the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide, are to be observed and investigated by an international tribunal

Former UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali uncovered the reality by stating, “the failure of Rwanda is 10 times greater than the failure of Yugoslavia. Because in Yugoslavia the international community was interested, was involved. In Rwanda nobody was interested.”

More than 100,000 Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) and Croatian civilians were killed by 1995 after the declaring of independence in 1992 by Bosnia-Herzegovina from Yugoslavia, as the result of atrocious crimes. The UNO intervened with peacekeeping troops. On 11 July 1995, Serb forces killed approximately 8000 Bosniaks. Most of the girls were raped brutally in the period, and the human race again suffered a gross violation of human rights under the nose of the UNO. Later on, the political vacuum was filled up by the intervention of NATO and UNO military observers a long time after people had been killed, girls had been raped, and houses had been burnt.

The Darfur genocide in Sudan was the first genocide of the 21st century. More than 400,000 Darfuris were killed, and more than three million people displaced. The eyes of the global community were on the success of Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) to weed out the conflicts between northern Sudan and Southern Sudan, but violence erupted in the western region of Sudan– in Darfur. In 2003, two groups– the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA)– engaged in the bloodiest of conflicts on the allegations of inequality, economic marginalization, communal subordination in an organized way, political monopoly to the legitimate rule of certain groups and many other allegations. Later on, the fight shaped up the war between Arab groups and non-Arab groups that aggravated the situation by breaching Universal Declaration of Human Rights on minor and major levels. So, the war was termed a genocide. Still the law and order condition is not satisfactory; people are bound to live in refugee camps, and they have a severe shortage of food. From 80,000 to 500,000 people have been killed. UNO peacekeeping missions have been working in the war-torn region for many years, but the UNO could not resolve the issue with the support of an abundance of legal documents for the protection of human rights, and the existence of global community and comprehensive problem discussing forum of world leaders, intellectuals and jurists.

China has been persecuting the Uighur community, located in the western region of Xinjiang. Modern ways of torturing, technological methods of snubbing their voice and depriving them of the rights which have been protected and termed as “non-derogable” in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. That is the silent cultural genocide of the Uighur community. On the other, the blatant genocide and persecution of Palestinians is visible to the ethically blind world. All eyes are turned toward the UNO with diminishing hopes for protection of human rights.

The more horrifying aspect of the whole matter is that the UNO– in spite of having Convention on the prevention and punishment of the Crime of Genocide 1948 and the support of the rest of the world– could not stop countries from trapping themselves in genocide. So, is it possible for UNO and the human race to get afflicted with another genocide in Kashmir at the hands of Indian forces after the abrogation of Article 50-A and Article 370?

About 100,000 people have been murdered in extrajudicial killings in the Indian Occupied Kashmir since 1989. Thousands of girls have been abducted and raped in the occupied state by Indian Army, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Border Security Force personnel. Many resolutions have been passed by the UNO to address the Kashmir issue through a referendum, and both parties of the conflict, acceded to the resolutions. Now, the state is again in the formal genocide condition where millions of army men have been deployed, internet service has been suspended, unending curfew has been imposed, and people do not have access to information, food and independent movement, which is a gross violation of the Declaration of Human Rights.

Article 2 of the Genocide Convention states, “genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: (a) Killing members of the group; (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; and (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.” So, the Indian government is planning to launch a fake military operation of border infiltration to legalize its genocide to avoid legal liabilities. This is because Article 3 of the same legal instrument defines severe punishment as  “the following acts shall be punishable: (a) Genocide; (b) Conspiracy to commit genocide; (c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide; (d) Attempt to commit genocide; (e) Complicity in genocide.”

Thus, the UNO should implement its resolutions on the matter of Kashmir. It ought to ensure fair enforcement of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that will lead to avoid a human race to trap into another genocide that may aggravate security situation of the South Asia region because of soaring religious militancy. Over the killing, rapes, and torture and depriving Kashmiris of fundamental rights, the breached articles of the convention on the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide, are to be observed and investigated by an international tribunal.