Human Rights Watch
27 February 2008

A letter of disappointment with the recent horrific attacks carried out by the government of Sudan and Janjaweed militia on three civilian villages in the region of West Darfur on February 8 and the United Nations Security Council irresponsibility to take instant measures to bring the Darfur crisis to an end, was released on 27 February by Human Rights Watch. The concerned letter outlines the manifestations of the Sudanese government's disregard for its international legal obligations and also calls on the Security Council to immediately act to stop the ongoing violence in Darfur.

(...) We believe that (...) recent abuses in West Darfur demonstrate how far Khartoum has been emboldened by the failure of the international community to impose real consequences for such actions in the past. Previously the Council showed an inexplicable reluctance to address large-scale killing of civilians, contributing to the intractable problems of the past four years. It is now well past the time for the Council to confront the government of Sudan's undisguised contempt with real action. We call on the Council to take action on two fronts as follows:

First, the Security Council should promptly issue a presidential statement condemning the government of Sudans violations of international humanitarian law in West Darfur, the appointment of Musa Hilal, and the refusal to cooperate with the ICC.

Second, in accordance with the Councils own criteria, the Sanctions Committee should impose targeted sanctions including travel bans and asset freezes on individuals who impede the peace process, constitute a threat to stability in Darfur and the region, commit violations of international humanitarian or human rights law or other atrocities or are responsible for offensive military overflights. Human Rights Watch recommends that the Council immediately task the Panel of Experts to investigate the attacks on February 8 in West Darfur as well as the other actions listed above and to report, promptly and publicly, to the Sanctions Committee with a list of those who are responsible. (...)

To read full version of Human Rights Watch Letter to the Security Council, please visit:

Media release on the HRW Letter available at: