Feature

Quibble over genocide

The week's news at a glance.

Brussels

European Union ministers this week asked the U.N. to investigate whether the slaughter in Darfur, Sudan, met the criteria of genocide, but they stopped short of applying that word themselves. The British called it a “desperate situation,’’ the Germans a “humanitarian catastrophe with genocidal potential,” and the French a “massive human rights violation.” U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said last week that the systematic attacks on black villagers by Arab militias in Sudan was indeed genocide, a term that, if adopted by the U.N., would trigger automatic sanctions. Some 10,000 people are dying every month in Sudanese refugee camps, mainly from dysentery.

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