Genocide is an ultimate state crime; as it is an act
committed by states to create the country in a distinct image, which is used as
a tool in state building. The state equally applies other violent means in the
name of the state building. However, genocide as the deliberate extermination
of a group is placed in its category in the field of state crime.
S., 2008, also emphasised in his book titled; The Khmer Rouge and the Cambodian Genocide, that despite the UN
convention on the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide, the
twentieth century saw one of the appalling genocide in Cambodia. This genocide
took the lives of almost two million Cambodians, who were killed through
execution, starvation, torture and exhaustion under the Khmer Rouge Communist
regime by the militant dictator Pol Pot.
Pot was a Khmer, a member of Cambodia’s presiding ethnic group accounting for
about 80 percent of the population. He established an exceptionally
surprisingly ruthless and brutal reorganisation of Cambodian culture. He
persuaded to cleanse the nation of foreign influence and non-Khmers ethnic
trace and imposed a more original communist agrarian classification. Pol Pot
persecuted ethnic Vietnamese, Thai and Chinese Cambodians. He cleared the
cities and moved all the urban dwellers and well educated to the country and
forced them into physically demanding agricultural labour. Positioning the
Khmer peasant as the state ideal, whiles his Khmer Rouge comrades performed the
intellectuals’ role, killed anyone unable to cope with arduous work and
annihilated all ethnic and religious minorities.
According to Kiernan, B., (2014), in his book; Pol Pot Regime: Race, Power, and Genocide in
Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, 1975-79. He emphasised that, Pol Pot’s aim
of barring 50,000 Muslim Chams from arriving and deporting 150,000 solely
because they were not ‘pure Khmer people’. The Khmer Rouge regime referred to
the Islamic people as ‘enemies’ and engaged in racial suppression and forced
dispersal of the Chams. It was common in Pol Pot’s reign of power that, he abused power by
seising full control of the country in April 1975. During his four years rule
of Cambodia until 1979, Pol Pot oversaw nearly four years of genocide, crimes
against humanity and aggression and crimes against neighbouring Vietnam and
Thailand. The scale of genocide perpetrated by Pol Pot could only be carried
out, due to that fact that, he seized full country of the country and hence
harness state institutions in carrying out this heinous crime against humanity.
This was an explicitly an ultimate state crime of genocide
as passed by the United Nations General Assembly resolution, that it is the
denial of the right of existence of an entire human group. Pol Pot’s regime
aimed to simultaneously eliminate urban classes, considering them as traitors
who have been contaminated by foreign influences and ethnic groups, which is
stereotyped as suspect social classes. This
was in clear terms an obliteration of ethnic groups. It is evident that the
nature of the ideology that drove this genocide was notably the explosive
combination of totalitarian political ambition and a racialist project of
ethnic cleansing, (Ibid).
In the case of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar according to
BBC Report, 2017, titled; Myanmar bars UN
probe as mass grave found in Rakhine. It emphasised that the Rohingya Arsa
Militants attacked police posts and Myanmar’s army responded with a military
clampdown. This incident has resulted in more than 650,000 Rohingya to escape Bangladesh,
which is two-thirds of the entire population.
It further stressed that aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres
(MSF) estimates at least 6,700 Rohingya have been killed between 24 August – 25
September 2017. The UN has held that the actions of state forces in Myanmar
against Rohingya could potentially be classified as an act of genocide.
What is worse in this Rohingya crisis is that all human
rights monitors have been denied access to the country. Two reporters were
detained, threatening press freedom in Myanmar, (Ibid).
The Rohingya crisis is in no doubt a clear case of genocide
as already held by the UN; this is a systematic destruction of a group as
argued by Balint, J., (2011), these are acts defined in international law as
‘crime against humanity’. The BBC Report further highlighted that the Myanmar
government deprived of the Rohingya nationality and even omitted them from the
2014 enumeration, thus rejecting to identify them as a people. The Myanmar regime
see’s Rohingya as unlawful settlers from Bangladesh. This is an ultimate state
crime of genocide as stated in 1948, United Nations definition of genocide, as
an attempt to destroy an ethnic or religious group, by creating conditions that
would cause the group’s destruction by starvation and to kill members of the group.
The past few years, before the up-to-date
emergency, numerous members of Rohingya have made dangerous voyages out of
Myanmar to escape public violence by the security forces. The Rohingya were
also attacked by the indigenous Buddhist mobs, and burnt their communities and confronted
and killed civilians, whiles seeking shelter in the area recognised as Cox’s
Bazaar. The BBC report stressed that Amnesty International has confirmed that
Myanmar military raped and ill-treated Rohingya females and teenagers.
The Myanmar government who positions the quantity of departed
Rohingya at 400, claims the ‘clearance operations’ against the fighters finished
on 5 September 2017, but the BBC disputes that and claims as it has seen
evidence of continuous violence.
The current crisis in
Myanmar against the Rohingya tribe stands on the edge of genocide. The Myanmar
government has deliberately denied them primary health care, unable to work,
which has forced them to abscond. What is more concerning is that many in the
regime, of the Rhakine establishment and amongst the Buddhist extremists are
keen to encourage them to escape, so intense that the use of savagery to
activate a final mass departure of the Rohingya’s from Myanmar cannot be ruled
The Rohingya crisis
is a clear violation of the United Nations General Assembly resolution passed
on the 11 December 1946. It is a transparent intentional elimination of an
identified ethnic group, Ibrahim, A., 2016.
The Rwanda genocide as highlighted by Melvern,
L., (2006), in his book: Conspiracy to
Murder: The Rwandan Genocide, he emphasised that the role of the state
making genocide the ultimate state crime. The then prime minister Jean Kambanda
of Rwanda planned to and perpetrated the 1994 genocide that claimed the lives
of an estimated 800,000 Rwandans. It was clear that the prime minister was
anti-Tutsi and hence believed that the Tutsi were racially alien. The
government policy was to create a Hutu state without the Tutsi by exterminating
them, which was against the United Nations General Assembly resolution passed
in 1946, that genocide is the denial of the right to existence of an entire
human group. Jean Kambanda was able to perpetuate the act of genocide by
exercising de jury authority over the senior public servants and senior
officers in the military. He used his influence in power to ensure all the
Tutsi tribe is exterminated, and this authority was aided by state institutions
making it possible for this crime against humanity to take place.
The government in exterminating the Tutsi claimed that the Tutsi
never had a country of their own to make themselves into people, and hence came
to Rwanda and got naturalised. The Tutsi should have lived in neighbouring
countries where they were given refuge, but out of pride and arrogance, they
wanted to impose their dominion on the Hutu people of Rwanda. The Tutsi had
maltreated and eliminated all the Hutu kings and their dependents and ruled the
Hutu tribe with cruelty until the colonisers came in. The Hutu saw the Tutsi as
proud, imperious, awkward and unreliable, whiles the Hutu were viewed as
humble, sincere, faithful, independent and impetuous. These are the ideals that
underpinned the genocide in Rwanda.
Despite the origins of Rwandan’s history, both historians and
anthropologist cannot agree on the sources of the divisions that were behind
Rwandans Cruel and terrible history. Whereas, others maintain that the race
idea of Hutu and Tutsi was orchestrated when the Europeans colonisers came to
the shores of Africa, that the Tutsi formed a superior race and were
intelligent and refined than the Hutu and majority of the other tribes. In this
view it was the colonisers who thought up the idea that the Tutsi had come from
somewhere to invade the Hutu’s land, sadly the Hutu extremist based on these
versions of history during genocide presented the Tutsi’s as aliens, (Ibid).
The Rwandan genocide is further emphasised by Guichaoua, A.,
2015, in his book: From War to Genocide:
Criminal Politics in Rwanda, 1990–1994, that genocide is the ultimate state
crime as the military abused their power. It was done by pursuing the option of
conquering power by the insanity annihilating democratic organisations and
forces, and eventually the Rwandan Tutsi civilian population.
According to McLaughlin, E, 2001; in his book titled: The Problem of Crime 2nd edition,
emphasised that it is difficult to distinguish between political and other
forms of violence. He believes it is state-sanctioned violence or internal
violence against the state. It was asserted that it is only the state who can
claim the exclusive right to the use of physical force within a given
territory, making it possible for the state to sanction violence. The
exceptional power invested in the country, regardless of its political or
ethnic formation, lies in its domination and institutionalisation of brutality.
This assertion further substantiates the claim that genocide
is the ultimate state crime, since it is only those in authority with the help
of governmental institutions who can cause murder, extermination, enslavement
and other acts of crime against humanity. The acts of genocides that have been
covered from, Nazi Germany, Khmer Rouge, Rwanda genocide to mention but a few,
are all traits that indicate that these were acts committed by individuals who
were in power at the time. These individuals by their power enact laws with the
help of state institutions to carry out these heinous acts of genocide.
Genocide in Darfur
According to Hagan, J., and Wenona, R., 2008, in their book; Darfur
and the Crime of genocide, they emphasised that the genocide in Darfur was
tribally motivated; thus, the Sudanese government feared that the Zaghawa tribe
were leading a rebellion and hence targeted the tribe in early 2003.
The Sudanese government
spearheaded the ethnic exploitation including in the targeted brutality and
destruction of specific African groups in Darfur. The leaders in power residing
in the capital Khartoum have learned thoroughly a technique of divide and rule,
of throwing into confusion and co-opting ethnic, regional elites. Ethnicity in
the warfare in Africa has proven to be by far one of the superior ideological
weapons. The government encouraged racial and ethnic dissections by deploying
Arab militias for nearly twenty years in the south and then shifted that
activity to the west, in Darfur. The government strategically mobilised the
armies among the landless, nomadic Arab leaders who were desperate for access
to water and grazing land for their livestock in an ecological community of
growing deforestation, (Ibid).
Attacking a group because of
their ethnicity is intentional, and intent is by law required element of
genocide. The attack on ethnic groups was precisely what was happening in
Darfur, and this intention was uttered both at specific individuals and to
corporate groups of people. From the level of individuals leading and taking
part in attacks to an organised groups level; i.e. the government of Sudan
military and the Janjaweed militia, who merge to terrify and target clusters of
settlements for assaults, (Ibid).
It is clear; however, that
genocide is an ultimate state crime as the genocide in Darfur recognise as a
socially, politically, and historically manufactured race-related break-up
between Arab and Black African groups in Sudan as a central part of the
violence in Darfur. The genocide was perpetrated by the Sudanese government
because of racial insecurity in his state; that focuses on defensive reactions
to attacking threats.
Transformational Model of Genocide in
Diagram by: Hagan, J., and Wenona, R., 2008.
consideration of the genocide is the contention for life-sustaining wealth
stressed in a population perspective. This perspective sees agreement solidity
not merely a gathering of people but also the tender of desirable property,
i.e. possessions, livestock, and the settled land itself. Closely packed districts are where
opportunities and motivations are extreme and possessions most strained by
those that desire them. This influence of citizenry and wealth are also subject
to chance and more mediated by racial brutalisation.
All these acts were carefully
manipulated by the Sudanese government with the aid of governmental
institutions, to suppress and ultimately annihilate ethnic groups. The diagram
outlines and elaborates on how systematic collective racial intent is built
from the summations and strenuous racial plan of individuals in a target set.
In the diagram, the
government of Sudan is transformed genocidal state system produced by new
collaborative action at the far right of the description. The foundation of
this state is also shown on the left side of the diagram; thus state-led
Arabization philosophy with its dehumanisation “us” and “them”
shared farming was discovered earlier from the mid-1980’s in Sudan.
The advocacy for the supremacy of a group ideology explains the
Arabization policy and how it has played out regarding the emerging land and
resources competition amongst the settled Black Africans and the nomadic Arab
groups in Darfur. The government-backed militia leaders used their status,
skills and efficiency to explode this vehemence with racial incentive. This
culmination of the furious rage that connects apparent ethnic intent to
Hagan, J., and Wenona, R., 2008, further highlighted that, political
violence can be tribal is well established, undeniably too well established,
but how it is that ethnicity remains obscure.
More assisted awareness needs to attributed to the forms and dynamics of
ethnicization, to the many subtle ways in which cruelty and situations,
procedures, actions and narratives linked to violence can take on ethnic tone.
The Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir recently repudiated his own
government’s participation in genocide by acknowledging that; there were villages
burnt down, and people killed because there was war. However, he added that the
Sudanese culture and people of Darfur would not abuse and hence such acts do
not exist in their learning. The president’s comments about sexual violence and
unmethodical killings of civilians reflect some trepidation about the less
ambiguous, indicating how the state is under-enforced in the constitutional
standing of rape as a war crime. Massacres are sometimes inevitable in war, but
rape is not, (Ibid).
It is explicit that the fighting in Darfur constituted genocide
especially when the brutality of state and race connected rape is regarded
together with the broader evidence of death and obliteration. The crimes of
genocide in Darfur extended well beyond the usual prominence on transience and
showed the existence that sexual violence occupies a central place in genocidal
Dawn, R., and Christopher, M., 2010, in their book, State Crime: Current
Perspectives; emphasised that, Ahmad Harun who was the former minister of state
for the interior of the government of Sudan, precisely head of security of the
Darfur from April 2003 to September 2005. During his tenure in office, he was
answerable for all military activities in Darfur. His actions remained
influential in fetching the Janjaweed military under the command of the
Sudanese army. He provoked national and militia forces to engross in violations
of international criminal law on several occasions; mainly directing them
against the Fur, Zaghawa and the Lasalit people.
This charge is as a result of the actions of, Harun for using his office
to perpetrate acts of violence against ethnic groups. It could not have
happened had he, not been a government appointee, ultimately committing
genocide using state institution.
This would equally be difficult for a non-governmental institution or a
government appointee to perpetrate such acts since they do not command many
people or organisations to carry out genocide. It is, however, clear that
genocide is more comfortable and more efficiently perpetrated by government
appointees or government organisation than a non-state institution.