What is genocide?
The term "genocide" did not exist before 1944. It is a very specific term, referring to violent crimes committed against groups with the intent to destroy the existence of the group. Is the international convention against genocide? The crime of genocide is defined in international law in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide. (The Genocide Convention adopted by the UN in Paris in 1948).
What is the legal definition of genocide?
Article II: In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
Article III: The following acts shall be punishable:
(b) Conspiracy to commit genocide;
(c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;
(d) Attempt to commit genocide;
(e) Complicity in genocide.
The Genocide Convention was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 9 December 1948. The Convention entered into force on 12 January 1951.
More than 130 nations have ratified the Genocide Convention and over 70 nations have made provisions for the punishment of genocide in domestic criminal law.
Unsurprisingly Ethiopia is not one of the signatories.
The text of Article II of the Genocide Convention was included as a crime in Article 6 of the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
Does TPLF’s violence against the Oromo nation constitute a genocide?
Yes, most certainly. According the above stated international criteria, the TPLF regime has relentlessly been engaged, (albeit recently intensified and reported in real-time) for the past quarter of a century. There is no single shadow of doubt that the TPLF and its accomplices have committed category of crime section according to section (a), (b), and (C) of the Article II of the International Law in the Convention on Prevention and Punishment of Genocide.
So why is the UN Security Council not making an effort to uphold its own convention?
Believe it or not there is a great deal of hypocrisy in the world we live. There is a huge degree of double standard and conflicting regional and national conflicts of interest. All the 5 permanent Security Council members (USA, Russia, France, Britain and China) have their own differences.
Let us accept it the Oromo issue is down at the bottom of the difficult issues these superpowers have to deal with in today’s volatile and unpredictable global security issues.
Nevertheless we the Oromos need to pester them consistently. Who knows one day someone somewhere may take notice of our predicaments.
In the meanwhile, what is expected of Oromo lawyers?
Evidence is everything for a lawyer. I have to declare (in case you have not yet realized) I am not a legal expert. I am immensely encouraged to read the recent statement by the International Association of Oromo Lawyers. Our lawyers need to make note of every news item and collect hard evidence on the ground in Oromia for their case.
The question is when is genocide not genocide? Have your say.