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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

UMB Professor Speaks about UN’s Role in Darfur Massacre

The newly created Model UN club, led by founder and President, Brenda Traccia, recently organized a speech addressing the horrors of the Sudan massacres and the hesitancy of the UN to declare the situation a genocide. Political Science Professor at UMass Boston, Robert Wiener, spoke to a crowd of 40 people about the United Nations and its role in the action to stop the killing in Sudan. He explained that the United Nations defines genocide as acts committed with intention to destroy ethical racial or religious group, through such actions as killing or causing serious body or mental harm. “The key word in this definition is intent,” which Professor Wiener explains is a “very narrow” way of explaining such horror.

When UN inspectors were sent to the Sudan they saw no evidence that the Arab-controlled government was trying to kill the African minority. From the UN’s perspective it is a civil war with the government simply funding one side as opposed to the other.

The reason that the UN cannot do more to stop the “genocide” that is happening in this region of the world lies in the very structure and context of the original UN charter. “The UN is not a world government,” Professor Wiener explained. It is an international society that made up of sovereign nations. In theory, every nation that signs on to the UN is supposed to follow the original pact that the UN put in place when it was created, but not every country follows that completely. Since the Arab government of Sudan did not “intend” on killing every African citizen in Sudan or Darfur, the massacre is considered a civil war, according to UN inspectors. The UN cannot really interfere since it is an internal affair and does not affect other countries on the world stage. However, there have been many thousands of people killed and driven from their homes, which could possibly affect the immigration patterns and population of countries around Sudan.

The UN and the African Union (AU) have teamed up in the first “hybrid force” to bring peace to the region. There are approximately 7,000 AU troops currently in the Darfur region and other places in Sudan. The UN Security Council has ordered an additional 20,000 UN peace-keepers. This will be one of the largest peace keeping operations in terms of man-power on the ground that the United Nations have ever undertaken.