A New Directive on Mass Atrocities: Will it Bring New Results?

Darfur refugees in 2007. The Obama administration says it is strengthening its response to potential genocide and mass atrocities.

The Obama administration recently released its much anticipated Directive on Mass Atrocities.  Human rights groups see it as a positive step in mass atrocities and genocide prevention.  As with previous efforts, it is clear that directives, laws, and resolutions have to be put in to action in real situations, if they are to save lives.  It is also clear that citizens around the world must stay active and engaged in the movement to end impunity and stop mass atrocities. Without citizen action, leaders tend to take the path of least resistance and risk.

Read about the Directive and the prevention board created through it in this Chicago Times article, by Lynn Sweet.

Samantha Power, Obama’s anti-genocide advisor, unveils new “Atrocities Prevention Board”

By Lynn Sweet on August 8, 2011 9:17 AM

WASHINGTON—The Obama White House issued new measures on Friday to prevent genocides and mass atrocities, creating an “Atrocities Prevention Board” in the wake of the failure of the “Never Again” vow taken following the German Holocaust to stop the murders of entire populations.

Obama’s directive forming the board states: “Preventing mass atrocities and genocide is a core national security interest and a core moral responsibility of the United States of America.” The directive creates an important new tool in this effort, establishing a standing interagency Atrocities Prevention Board with the authority to develop prevention strategies and to ensure that concerns are elevated for senior decision-making so that we are better able to work with our allies and partners to be responsive to early warning signs and prevent potential atrocities. The directive recognizes that preventing mass atrocities is a responsibility that all nations share and that other countries must also be enlisted to respond to particular crises. Therefore, the directive calls for a strategy for engaging key regional allies and partners so that they are prepared to accept greater responsibility for preventing and responding to crimes against humanity.”

Read the entire article at the Sun Times website

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Welcome to End Impunity. A campaign to stop mass atrocities going unpunished, seek prosecution of the perpetrators, restore dignity to the victims, and provide healing to the affected communities.