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News Posted on March 28, 2011

CILC, RFK Center Release Toward Peace with Justice in Darfur

Dr. MohammedThe Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights and the California International Law Center at King Hall this week issued a joint report providing a comprehensive analysis of key transitional justice issues facing the Darfuri people as they come to grips with past atrocities in their region, in the west of Sudan.   The initial legal research for the report was conducted by UC Davis School of Law students enrolled in International Human Rights and Transitional Justice, a Spring 2009 course taught by Professor Diane Marie Amann, CILC Director.  Principal author of the report was Kathleen A. Doty, CILC Fellow and UC Davis School of Law alumna.

Toward Peace with Justice in Darfur: A Framework for Accountability is the culmination of CILC's inaugural project, undertaken in collaboration with the RFK Center.  The report was envisioned by Dr. Mohammed Ahmed Abdallah Eisa, recipient of the 2007 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award.  It is intended to be used by Darfuris to cope with the aftermath of the armed conflict, which began in 2003 and resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths and in human rights violations such as torture and rape.  It is widely hoped that negotiations between Darfur rebel groups and the government will soon result in a viable peace plan; the report explores methods for seeking accountability for persons responsible for atrocities.

Dr. Mohammed, a physician and former Professor of Medicine at el-Fasher University in Darfur, has specialized in the treatment of survivors of torture and sexual violence.  He visited King Hall in March 2009 and met with students to initiate the project.  In consultation with distinguished professors of law, economics, and public health, students researched a host of post-conflict issues facing Darfur ranging from public health and environmental degradation to the development of infrastructure and local accountability measures.

Toward Peace with Justice in Darfur provides historical context about the conflict, explains accountability methods in use or available in Sudan, and examines Sudan's national and local court systems. It also reviews the legal framework for prosecutions and the creation of truth commissions.  The experiences of similarly situated African countries - Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Rwanda - are employed as models for post-conflict transitional justice. Recognizing that accountability for atrocities is a global struggle, the report also analyzes the experiences of Canada, Cambodia, Peru, and the former Yugoslavia. 

The report concludes that a combination of prosecutions at various levels, as well as truth-seeking mechanisms, will be important for Sudan.  It stresses that local political will and engagement with the international community have historically been crucial for the success of any post-conflict plan. Finally, the report emphasizes that it must be the people of Darfur who take the lead in ensuring for themselves justice for past wrongs and a future free from violence.

Download the report