Terrorism and Genocide in 21st Centuary
Submitted By mumal
WAR CRIME AND GENOCIDE
A war crime refers to the serious violation of the laws and customs of war (also known as international humanitarian law) giving rise to individual criminal responsibility. It also includes grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and other serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflict and in conflicts "not of an international character" listed in the Rome Statute, when they are committed as part of a plan or policy or on a large scale. These prohibited acts include: * murder; * mutilation, cruel treatment and torture; * taking of hostages; * intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population; * intentionally directing attacks against buildings dedicated to religion, education, art, science or charitable purposes, historical monuments or hospitals; * pillaging; * rape, sexual slavery, forced pregnancy or any other form of sexual violence; * conscripting or enlisting children under the age of 15 years into armed forces or groups or using them to participate actively in hostilities. The use of chemical and biological weapons in warfare are also prohibited by numerous chemical arms control agreements and the Biological Weapons Convention. Wearing enemy uniforms or civilian clothes to infiltrate enemy lines for espionage or sabotage missions is a legitimate ruse of war, though fighting in combat or assassinating individuals, even if they are military targets, behind enemy lines while so disguised is not, as it constitutes unlawful perfidy.
War crimes include such acts as mistreatment ofprisoners of war or civilians. In 2008, the U.N. Security Council adopted Resolution 1820, which noted that "rape and other forms of sexual violence can constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity or a constitutive act with respect to genocide"; see also war rape. War crimes are sometimes part of instances of mass murder and genocide though these crimes are more broadly covered under international humanitarian law described as crimes against humanity.
Mass grave of Soviet POWs, killed by Germans. Some 3.3 million Soviet POWs died in Nazi custody. War crimes also included deliberate attacks on citizens and property of neutral states as they fall under the category of non-combatants, as at the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. As the attack on Pearl Harbor happened without a declaration of war, without explicit warning, and went out of proportion, all military and civilian casualties at the harbor were officially non-combatants, the military were not ready for face up to the attack and the attack was declared by the Tokyo Trials to go beyond justification of military necessity and therefore constituted a war crime. War crimes are significant in international humanitarian law because it is an area where international tribunals such as the Nuremberg Trials and Tokyo Trials have been convened. Recent examples are the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and theInternational Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, which were established by the UN Security Council acting under Chapter VIII of the UN Charter. War crimes are different from crimes against peace which is planning, preparing, initiating, or waging awar of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements, or assurances. Because the definition of a state of "war" may be debated, the term "war crime" itself has seen different usage under different systems of international and military law. It has some degree of application outside of what some may consider to be a state of "war", but in areas where conflicts persist enough to constitute social instability.
The modern age brings new reasons and justifications for committing genocide. Mass killing of civilians on ideological grounds “in the name of the people’, whether ethnically driven or class- driven. Genocide is not war, mass murder or ethnic cleansing. The term genocide was first coined by Raphael Lemkin in 1943. Lemkin, a Polish-Jewish legal scholar and refugee.
On December 9, 1948, the United Nations took his idea a step further and adopted Article II of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention of the Crime of Genocide. Article II specifically defines genocide as “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic racial or religious group” causing them serious bodily or mental harm, creating conditions calculated to bring about their physical destruction, preventing births, or forcibly transferring children to another group”.
From the Armenian genocide in 1915 to the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, the world is no more inclined to intervene to prevent future genocide today than it has been in the past 110 years.
While wars are being fought with modern weapons against opposing military forces, genocide is being carried out against non-combatants by low tech weapons as guns, fire, rape, drowning and machetes.Genocide tears at the very fabric of what is good and decent and it is incomprehensible that normal people can create such horrid violence on select groups or races of people on such a grand scale and justify it. It is estimated between 60 and 120 million men, women and children experienced the brutality of genocide . These individuals were not combatants; however, they were being killed as an extension of war, even though they are not participants.
There are Eight Stages of Genocide and Prevention
1.Classification All cultures have categories to distinguish people into “us and them” by ethnicity, race, religion, or nationality.
2. Symbolization We give names or other symbols to the classifications. We name people “Jews” or “Gypsies”, or distinguish them by colors or dress; and apply the symbols to members of groups. Classification and symbolization are universally human and do not necessarily result in genocide unless they lead to the next stage, dehumanization.
3. Dehumanization One group denies the humanity of the other group. Members of it are equated with animals, vermin, insects or diseases. Dehumanization overcomes the normal human revulsion against murder.
4. Organization Genocide is always organized, usually by the state, often using militias to provide deniability of state responsibility. Sometimes organization is informal or decentralized.
Special army units or militias are often trained and armed. Plans are made for genocidal killings.
5 Polarization Extremists drive the groups apart. Hate groups broadcast polarizing propaganda.
Laws may forbid intermarriage or social interaction. Extremist terrorism targets moderates,intimidating and silencing the center. Moderates from the perpetrators’ own group are most able to stop genocide, so are the first to be arrested and killed.
6. Preparation Victims are identified and separated out because of their ethnic or religious identity. Death lists are drawn up. Members of victim groups are forced to wear identifying symbols. Their property is expropriated.
7. Extermination Begins, and quickly becomes the mass killing legally called“genocide.” It is
“extermination” to the killers because they do not believe their victims to be fully human. When it is sponsored by the state, the armed forces often work with militias to do the killing.
Sometimes the genocide results in revenge killings by groups against each other.
8. Denial It is the eighth stage that always follows genocide. It is among the surest indicators of further genocidal massacres. The perpetrators of genocide dig up the mass graves, burn the bodies, try to cover up the evidence and intimidate the witnesses. They deny that they committed any crimes, and often blame what happened on the victims. They block investigations of the crimes, and continue to govern until driven from power by force, when they flee into exile.
The world has experienced its first genocide in the first three years of the twentieth first century.
The most notable cases of genocide are explained underneath:
Sudanese Genocide (October,2003-2010) Taking place in a western Sudanese region called
Darfur. This was the climax of the civil war that existed between the northern and southern
Sudan. Darfur region was dominantly Muslim, but tribal and ethnic differences existed. The conflict was between the Arab group, who were nomadic herders, and the Aftrican groups
(Maasalit and Zaghawa), who were pastoralists. Ethnic Arab militia groups, known as the
Janjaweed, attacked the African groups. The methods ranged from air strikes, to burning villages and poisoning wells. Women were systematically raped and almost 400 000 people were killed.
The United States government official acknowledged the Sudan situation as a Genocide under the United Nations and Genocide Convention. African Union and United Nations began constructing forces to aid the situation.In March,2009 the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for President Omar al-Bashir as he was the directing force behind the mass killing.
Democractic Republic of Congo (1996-present) More than 6 billion people have died in the worlds bloodliest conflict since world war 2 caused by political violence ,conflict over valuable resources and spillover fighting from 1994 genocide in neighboring Rwanda. The long and brutal conflict in the DRC has caused massive suffering for civilians. Infant and child mortality rates are extremely high as a result of famine and malnutrition. Almost 6 million people are internally displaced or refugees in Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda.
Persecution of Falun Gong, China (1999-ongoing) A campaign by the Chinese government against the Falun Gong spiritual practice. It is estimated that since 1999,atleast 2000 Falun Gong adherents have died due to this suppression. Some courts and observers have likened the crackdown to genocide. The death toll has been estimated 70,000 in the near future.
Sri Lankan Genocide (1983-2009) Approximately 100,000 people died during the Sri Lankan civil war. Both the Sri Lankan armed forces and the Tamil Tigers committed atrocities. During the final phase of the conflict leading to the defeat of the Tamil Tigers at least 7,934 persons died, of which 550 were children younger than 10. Real figures probably amount to tens of thousands victims –most sources speak of approximately 40,000 casualties. No one has been hold accountable.
In conclusion, genocide will continue to exist and proliferate in the twenty first century.
Genocide, as evidenced by the previous century, cannot logically be eradicated or totally prevented. This is not to say the international community should not continue to try or at least reduce the effects and the tremendous loss of life as a result of genocide. The question then becomes why hasn’t the international community been able to prevent, identify (in a timely manner) or intercede to stop the genocides of the twentieth and the beginning of the twentieth first century? The problem lies in the international communities’ inability to agree on what constitutes genocide and the appropriate reaction to the threat.
The Essay contained the study of Terrorism and genocide has many limitations. It cannot predict,only offer explanations from hindsight for why they had occurred. It is accurate to say that terrorism and genocide has never been prevented in either the twentieth or the first part of the twenty first century, and the present capabilities do not render a positive outlook for prevention. Prevention indicates that terrorism and genocide can be stopped before it starts. In reality, they cannot be prevented until they are already underway. The focus of stopping terrorism and genocide will require expediency in decision making, rapid deployment of troops, and good legal system.
[ 2 ]. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geneva Conventions
[ 3 ]. "Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, 1998". UN Treaty Organization. Retrieved October 13, 2010.
[ 4 ]. 1949 Geneva Convention (I) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field
[ 5 ]. www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?
[ 6 ]. endgenocide.org/learn/past-genocides
[ 7 ]. www.genocidewatch.org/aboutgenocide/8stagesofgenocide
[ 8 ]. worldwithoutgenocide.org/genocides-and-conflicts/darfur-genocide
[ 9 ]. endgenocide.org/conflict-areas/dr-congo/
[ 10 ]. www.thestar.com/news/world/2013/