News / USA

    US Pressured to Reach Genocide Decision on IS

    FILE - Displaced Iraqi Yazidis, fleeing from Islamic State militants, head toward the Syrian border Aug. 11, 2014. The Obama administration must determine whether the IS group has been conducting a genocide campaign.
    FILE - Displaced Iraqi Yazidis, fleeing from Islamic State militants, head toward the Syrian border Aug. 11, 2014. The Obama administration must determine whether the IS group has been conducting a genocide campaign.
    VOA News

    Pressure is growing for the Obama administration to formally determine whether the Islamic State group is committing “genocide” against Christians, Yazidi and other religious and ethnic minorities in the Middle East.

    The U.S. State Department faces a Thursday deadline set last year by Congress, whose lower House of Representatives on Monday will vote on a Republican-led resolution on the violence in Syria, Iraq and Libya.

    Secretary of State John Kerry is said to be leaning toward the rare, fraught determination, according to The Associated Press, but likely will miss that deadline while awaiting the results of a legal review. Such a designation – which the United States previously has invoked just once during an ongoing conflict – carries unclear political and legal implications.

    FILE - Secretary of State John Kerry promises a decision soon on whether the Islamic State is committing genocide.FILE - Secretary of State John Kerry promises a decision soon on whether the Islamic State is committing genocide.
    x
    FILE - Secretary of State John Kerry promises a decision soon on whether the Islamic State is committing genocide.
    FILE - Secretary of State John Kerry promises a decision soon on whether the Islamic State is committing genocide.

    International focus

    "A genocide designation will raise international consciousness and compel the international community of responsible nations to act, setting the preconditions for the reintegration of ancient ethnic groups and faith traditions into their ancestral homelands," Nebraska Republican Jeff Fortenberry said in a statement last week. He had introduced the House legislation in September.

    A 1948 United Nations treaty on genocide requires signatories, including the United States, to "undertake to prevent and to punish” acts intended “to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group...."

    In 2004, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell determined that the mass rape and slaughter in Sudan’s Darfur region was genocide. He reached that finding after State Department lawyers determined the United States was not legally compelled to prevent genocide occurring outside its own boundaries, the AP reported. Powell urged the U.N. Security Council to create a commission to investigate whether the crimes constituted genocide and to act accordingly. 

    Defining the legal standard

    With a genocide determination against the Islamic State, Kerry also probably would refer the matter to the Security Council for possible prosecution by an international tribunal, according to the AP.

    Kerry last month testified before Congress that the atrocities must meet the legal standard of genocide and that he’d asked State Department lawyers to evaluate and re-evaluate evidence. He promised a response "very, very soon."

    Detailed report on atrocities

    Last week, the international Catholic fraternal group Knights of Columbus and the U.S.-based nonprofit In Defense of Christians released a report citing witness accounts of atrocities such as beheadings, crucifixions, rapes and sexual enslavement.

    The report listed 1,131 Christians killed in Iraq and 125 churches attacked there from 2003 to 2014, according to the Religion News Service. RNS noted support for the report's findings from groups such as Genocide Watch and the Hudson Institute.

    An unnamed State Department official was quoted by RNS as saying that, "regardless of whether Da'esh’s conduct satisfies certain legal definitions, including genocide and crimes against humanity, the United States has been clear that our interest in accountability for perpetrators remains undiminished."

    You May Like

    Former US Envoys Urge Obama to Delay Troop Cuts in Afghanistan

    Keeping troop levels up during conflict with both Taliban and Islamic State is necessary to support Kabul government, they say

    First Lady to Visit Africa to Promote Girls' Education

    Michele Obama will be joined by daughters and actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto

    Video NYSE Analyst: Brexit Will Continue to Place Pressure on Markets

    Despite orderly pricing and execution strategy at the New York Stock Exchange, analyst explains added pressure on world financial markets is likely

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: kanaikaal irumporai
    March 14, 2016 12:15 PM
    Yes!, when things suit the policies of the US, they would come up with all sorts of things to discredit the opposing party, but if the perpetrators acts as agents(the Sinhala Buddhist state of Sri Lanka for instance) for the US and the West, then the whole setup changes into giving the perpetrator the right and the necessary means to further the Genocidal project and to shield them from scrutiny from outside. The guilty are, the view of US and the West, competent enough to act as investigates and judges, to decide whether there is any wrong doing on the part of the accused. UN, that better suited for mosquito eradication and polio vaccination, is being used to shield the culprits, and to crucify without trial anyone who doesn't comply with the neocolonial agenda of the West.

    All the talks of framing IS of committing Genocide is not going to work unless IS recognizes the role of the UN or any other so called international body, for these militants obey only their God, none else. The matter then is either to ignore or eliminate them. That can happen without such indictments.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora