Gibreil Hamid, President of the Darfur Peace and Development Center and critic of UN’s inaction on the genocide, addresses the 1st Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see below for full prepared remarks.
Gibreil Hamid: Thank you for your nice clear message to all of the audience here. I’m thanking you by the name of all Darfurians who are the victims. I don’t know how they are, if they’ve eaten their portion today or not. So I thank you all that for dedicating your time on a Sunday morning to come up to Geneva here to attend this summit. Special thanks to UN Watch as a sponsor and the team who were working very hard day and night to organize this day. So I’m very grateful and thankful for all of you here.
First of all,  I’m presenting for some person who’s supposed to be here today and this person is Mr. Ahmad Ibrahim Drake. He was the ex former governor of Darfur when Darfur was one region. Today Darfur is divided into three. Of course this man he’s supposed to be here today but unfortunately he had an accident and we hope that he is recovering and getting better today. I don’t have contact but I wish him good health and to recover as soon as possible. What I would like to say also is that he was lucky to be somewhere abroad, not to be in Darfur or somewhere else because otherwise he was going to die today because of his accident. You cannot survive because you have no medical care and you have nothing. So this guy [Ahmad Ibrahim Drake] was really struggling for Darfur for a long time in the 80s and he was doing a lot for Darfur. But the Government of Sudan or people who were in the central power were always putting pressure on Darfur. As we know, since 1960 [until] ‘84 and before, we were always victims of the regime governments and who came before and who are coming and coming and coming. Today after such a long time struggling with our people, they stand up for this. The movements are starting, they want to have the rights. But unfortunately they put the whole region under control of the government which is true.
So what I would like to say now is that we have a really bad situation in Darfur right now, which is really bad I will say after the arrest warrants enforced by the ICC. The government of Sudan threw all 13 or 14 NGOs or humanitarian organizations out of the region. And this is affecting Darfur very much because I will say 99% of Darfurianss depend on these relief organizations who are helping them to survive and to get medical care. They don’t get this now. I would say a week ago I lost a cousin. He was just having a normal sickness and he had to go to the doctor to check it out. But he couldn’t make it because there was no doctor to go to, [one to] check and know what he has. Because all the doctors who were there were thrown out and now Darfur is left alone without any care and we’re still here sitting and talking about human beings. So we are forgetting and thinking that we are a forgotten people in Darfur.
But I don’t think that we’re forgotten because I see all these nice faces here. They are coming, coming from long distances here to come to participate with and to cooperate with others, to talk with us, and to give us some feeling that we are also not alone in our tragedy. I’m really appreciating it.
Before yesterday also I lost an Uncle; he was also sick and he could not also go through to get some tablets for I don’t know a stomach ache or whatever it was. He also passed away. This is also hitting me as a result of the throwing organizations out of the country. I will say this is only me; I have only my torture. I think in every family in Darfur right now they have so many casualties and so many dead people and sick people. They cannot get treatment because they have no doctors that are there. If somebody can afford to go down to Khartoum or wherever, they have no money to afford it. So they prefer to stay in their bed until they die. This is why we are arguing for humanitarian organizations and the international community to put pressure on the government of Sudan to allow these organizations to go back as soon as possible so as to support these people who are struggling to help them to get along with their lives. They are fed up and they are really tired of struggling.
At six years time we see the genocide is running, nobody’s caring. We are just talking. We’re just talking but we are supposed to do something. This is the responsibility of the international community. And the community has to take its responsibility that these people are protected, survive and are free.
If I will tell you one day, once we were as Darfurians, we were supporting and feeding Saudi Arabia, or the maker as you know. Today we are sitting and waiting for some people to bring us food. We are not even able to help ourselves. We are really tired of this every time I call home… (starts getting emotional)
People are asking how long we will be waiting like this if they hear what’s happened to them. I have no answer. Really I have no answer. So this is really the matter of 30 minutes. We are, as I said in Sudan, we are left alone in our tragedy. We have no support.  I would say last week, on the 13th of this month, there were nine people who have been sentenced to death. They executed them and they are all African because of their race and this way it was just very simple. There were 19 people who have been charged with killing a journalist but this was actually I thought could not be that nineteen people are going to kill one person. And now seven of them have died in the jail by torture. Just last week they killed the rest of them. A day after or two days after the government of Sudan announced also another death penalty to ten of Darfurians in Africa who been charged by the Sudanese court that they were attacking Khartoum in May 2008.
This is very clear. This is against our people. Against Africans, against black Africans. And those who are all who are victims in this conflict, they’re all Darfurian. None of them is out of Darfur and none of them belong to any other tribe. They are African and this is, I would say, ethnic cleansing or we will say genocide, which is targeting only African people. This will confirm that what is happening in Darfur is really racism and criminal acting against black Africans.
Now, after all this time we are always struggling and struggling to get somewhere to help these people. So we get nowhere. Tomorrow there will be the Durban Review Conference taking place and all of them I will say, Arab and Muslims, they agree to talk about Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, and all the other places. We are not counted as one of the subjects, Darfur is not counted as a subject in the Durban summit. So I would like to ask the question: are we not people or human beings? Or are we a second class of human beings? Or what kind of people are we? This is the question always bothering me, why we are not accepted by others as human beings? Why is this happening to us?
So this is how it goes. I will say just because of us, because of our ethnicity, because we are not Arab, even if we’re Muslim, we will not be accepted as Arab. As long as we’re not Arab, even when we’re Muslim, when we’re black, we were counted as a second class. That’s why we are here fighting against this racism, against this unfair treatment. And we would like to tell everybody that we are human beings. We’re here and we’re going to be human beings everywhere. And one day, justice will come and we’ll call for justice for today before tomorrow for Darfurians and the rest of the world as soon as possible. Thank you.