Why the International Justice Project?

Um Ziefa © Brian Steidle

In the spring of 2005, the Prosecutor of the ICC opened an investigation into the crimes committed in Darfur after the United Nations Security Council referred the matter to the Court. To date, the ICC has issued arrest warrants against four members of the Sudanese government, including President al-Bashir, for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.

Shortly after the arrest warrants were issues, the IJP founders, Wanda M. Akin and Raymond M. Brown, began working with members of the Darfurian Diaspora in the United States who wanted to know more about the legal proceedings at the ICC. Akin and Brown soon took on the task of gathering the stories of the genocide victims and submitting their applications to participate in the trial against President al-Bashir. Today, Akin, Brown, and the IJP team have interviewed close to 100 Darfuris in the United States and other countries around the world.

For many Darfurian women, the IJP is often the first and only place where they share their stories. It may be their first opportunity to break their silence and discuss the horror of witnessing family members die, sexual violence, and/or domestic violence. Recognizing that the IJP might be the only organization the women ever talk to, we feel obligated to expand our activity from listening and recording these experiences to addressing the most pressing needs of the women, such as healthcare, mental health care, temporary lodging, legal advice, and more.

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Seeking justice for victims of mass atrocities

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