The presence of Khartoum génocidaire Ali Karti at today’s National Prayer Breakfast makes a mockery of the number one priority of the “Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Unit” (http://www.ice.gov/human-rights-violators-war-crimes-unit) of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security Investigations:
“To prevent the admission of foreign war crimes suspects, persecutors, and human rights abusers into the United States”
Ali Ahmed Karti
It is well known to both these agencies—or certainly should be—that current Foreign Minister Karti was appointed head of the notoriously brutal Popular Defense Forces in 1997. As such, he had direct command responsibility for the commission of countless atrocity crimes—war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide in the Nuba Mountains and former Western Upper Nile.
He also bears major responsibility for events in Darfur, including most recently ardently supporting the expulsion of senior UN humanitarian officials, including UN resident and humanitarian coordinator Ali al-Zaatari. Karti also threatened more such groundless expulsions. Further, Karti took the lead in preventing a proper investigation of the mass rapes at Tabit, North Darfur. A forthcoming Human Rights Watch report (see below) will make clear that Karti’s obdurate denial that these rapes occurred is yet another lie by the Khartoum regime in service of obscuring atrocity crimes in Darfur. Beyond all this, Karti has also been part of the increasingly rabid persecution of Christians, especially in and around Khartoum.
So just how did Karti obtain his State Department visa for a non-official visit? State won’t answer; special envoy for Sudan Donald Booth has declared “We didn’t invite him.” Since he is a presidential envoy, Booth is perforce speaking for the Obama administration as a whole.
But then who did invite Karti? Why was he given a State Department visa? Why did his history of responsibility for and complicity in atrocity crimes not prevent his entry by the self-celebratory “Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Unit”? What is the connection between his visit and that of the Khartoum regime’s senior political official, Ibrahim Ghandour—now actively managing the rigging of the April 2015 presidential “election” in Sudan? (See Ghandour’s comments of August 31, 2014 during a high-level meeting of security and military officials in Khartoum | http://wp.me/p45rOG-1AO).
Too many unanswered questions.
What should have been a day of national and international celebration and reflections on the meaning of faith in the modern world has devolved into a spectacle in which a known war criminal was sitting with President Obama and the Dalai Lama. Instead of properly commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, the Breakfast may best be remembered as the occasion of President Obama’s first attendance, and that his administration—one way or another—facilitated the attendance of a man with a long history of atrocity crimes and complicity in genocide.
It is, I repeat, a day of national disgrace.
***News Conference Invitation***
Mass Rape in Darfur: Army Attacks Against Civilians in Tabit: Release of Human Rights Watch Report
Human Rights Watch is pleased to invite you to a news conference hosted by the United Nations Correspondents Association (UNCA) on Wednesday, February 11, 2015, at 11:00 a.m. in the UNCA Meeting Room of the UN Secretariat Building for the release of a new report, “Mass Rape in Darfur: Sudanese Army Attacks Against Civilians in Tabit.”
Between October 30 and November 1, 2014, Sudanese government forces entered Tabit, North Darfur, and carried out massive abuses against the town’s residents, including a mass rape of women and girls. Sudan responded by denying the abuses and has refused to allow international peacekeepers and other independent monitors to investigate the crimes. This report, based on two months of research, details the abuses and recommends steps to protect civilians from further abuse.
What: Release of Human Rights Watch report “Mass Rape in Darfur: Sudanese Army Attacks Against Civilians in Tabit”
Who: Jonathan Loeb, fellow at Human Rights Watch
Jehanne Henry, senior researcher at Human Rights Watch
Philippe Bolopion, United Nations director at Human Rights Watch
When: Wednesday, February 11, 2015, 11:00 a.m.
Where: United Nations Correspondents Association Meeting Room S-310,
United Nations Secretariat Building
New York, NY 10017
For more information and to schedule interviews, please contact:
In New York, Jonathan Loeb (English): +1-917-617-3817 (mobile); or firstname.lastname@example.org
In New York, Philippe Bolopion (French, English): +1-212-216-1276; or +1-917-734-3201 (mobile); or email@example.com
In New York, Jehanne Henry (English, French): +1-917-443-2724 (mobile); or firstname.lastname@example.org