Speaking Truth to Power: British Prime Minister David Cameron and Darfur, 17 November 2014
A powerful letter to British Prime Minister David Cameron was delivered this past weekend to Number 10 Downing Street as part of a demonstration protesting inaction by the international community in the face of mass rapes at Tabit town, North Darfur, on October 31 – November 1.
There were fifty-two signatories to the letter, declaring:
We represent a broad range of Sudanese opposition parties, civil society groups and non-governmental organisations, as well as members of the Sudanese diaspora in the United Kingdom. We write to you to confirm that our many local sources are in agreement with the facts stated above [i.e., a telling synopsis of what occurred and how the UN/African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) responded].
The letter begins by noting of Prime Minister Cameron:
In November 2006 you visited El Fasher in North Darfur, seeing for yourself the impunity with which Sudan’s Armed Forces were ethnically cleansing the local non-Arab population. Writing in The Independent you said the world could not remain silent in the face of the horrific accounts of rape, murder and looting you had heard from the Darfuris you met.
Cameron, like so many others, has failed in his commitment.
This posturing must end and real action taken, accepting in meaningful ways the “responsibility to protect” undefended civilians under relentless assault by the forces of the Khartoum regime and its militia proxies.
This letter needs to be part of an ongoing and concerted effort to hold the UNAMID, the African Union, and the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations accountable for their dismal silence and disingenuousness. At present the world is simply watching from a distance as lives and livelihoods continue to be destroyed; this must end.
An image of a UN peacekeeping mission, operating under Chapter 7 authority of the UN charter, simply watches as Arab militias attack civilians near Kutum, North Darfur—and in clear view of the UNAMID watch tower.