Annual Survey of International & Comparative Law


The humanitarian crisis in Darfur presents one of the greatest challenges to the international community since the coordinated massacre of over 800,000 people in Rwanda in 1994. The mass murder of national, ethnic and tribal groups at the hands of both the Sudanese Government and the pro-Arab, government-backed militias, known as the janjaweed, is deemed responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of black Sudanese in the region. Despite the unmistakable tragedy that has occurred and continues to occur, the international community has utterly failed to respond. Debate over whether the term "genocide" should be used to describe the ethnic cleansing and displacement of nearly a quarter of a million people in Sudan has essentially deterred any type of humanitarian intervention from other nations that have signed or ratified the Genocide Convention. Although the U.S. Government has called the crisis a "genocide," the United Nations and the rest of the world has yet to do so, and has failed to respond in a timely manner that could have prevented countless deaths and ended the violence.