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March 4, 2009
International court issues arrest warrant for Sudan’s Bashir

The International Criminal Court has ordered the arrest of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, charging him with war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur.

The court said Bashir directed attacks that resulted in the murder, rape and torture of hundreds of thousands of people in Darfur. However, it also said there was not sufficient evidence to support charges of genocide.

The United Nations says that at least 300,000 have died in the conflict in Darfur and 2.5 million have been displaced.

On Tuesday, Bashir responded to the impending warrant by saying the ICC could “eat it.”

Amir Idris, a professor of African studies at Fordham University who grew up in Sudan, joins Martin Savidge to discuss the chances that Bashir will stand trial, how it will impact violence in Darfur and the U.S. position on Darfur and the ICC.

Journalist Rob Crilly in Sudan argues that while activists consider the ICC’s warrant a triumph, the Sudanese reaction is less than jubilant:

The Save Darfur movement and human rights campaigners will tell you that it’s all worth it. There need be no conflict between peace and justice, according to John Prendergast and Omer Ismail in today’s San Diego Tribune

But I can’t help feeling that they’ve been speaking to different people from the ones I have met in five camps across North and South Darfur this past week. Few have time for this debate. Few have heard of the International Criminal Court. Those that have are worried the government will come down hard on anyone celebrating Bashir’s indictment. And most seem to think that going home is more important than anything else.

Forgive me for putting words in their mouths, but I’m interpreting that as putting peace ahead of justice.

Today I met families who fled the fighting in Muhajiriya (incidentally they may not actually have fled – but that’s a post for another day). Some 50,000 are on the move. About 26,000 have arrived in Zam Zam camp.

One of them was Mariam Ahmed Abu, who reckoned she was 60 but looked more like 80 and whose daughter had been shot by her side during the fighting for Muhajiriya. She had survived six years of war but left when she realised she no longer had any children left to care for her. She made the journey with a dozen or so other elderly women who had all run out of children. This is how she summed it all up when I asked her about seeking justice for the misery inflicted on her:

“This is what happened and now we have to live and to forget it.”

She hadn’t heard of the ICC until I asked her about it and I’m starting to think that taking Bashir to the Hague will be more of a victory for activists far away from Sudan than for the people stuck in this miserable war.

The “Fai Notizia” blog interviews a young Sudanese man, who states that the ICC’s actions have allowed Bashir to position himself as victim:

I really hated what International Criminal Court, they gave the Sudanese Government a golden opportunity to polish its image and it’s President Bashir’s. Sudanese People are mostly simple people, after the ICC’s request to arrest Al-Bashir, the government went on and on about how this is a targeting of Islam, and how it’s an insult to the Sudanese Pride and how if this happened the US will surly have it’s clutches around Sudan, blah, blah. It wasn’t more than propaganda and a pethatric attempt to make Al-Bashir worthy of the coming elections, because honestly, before this, nobody liked this idiot. But suddenly I hear people in the bus talking about supporting him against the ICC. He became a hero.

Mimz,” another Sudanese blogger, writes that the warrant has Sudanese people scared, pleading for calm:

So please, Sudanese citizens, those of you living in Sudan… stop panicking! And stop packing your bags! I know so many people who are actually gone by now because they are afraid of what might happen if the warrant is issued. I’m telling you, Egypt doesn’t need any more people crowding it!

Nothing is going to happen, and no I am not in denial, I am just thinking of the most reasonable sequence of events. You will not be attacked in your own home, you will not lose all your valuable posessions and you will not find a loved one dead outside your house. Don’t be so overdramatic!

A blogger at “The Sudanese Thinker” writes that the arrest warrant may reshape U.S. policy towards Sudan:

[T]he ICC can’t do much on its own in terms of enforcing the arrest warrant (if it issues it at all) and the UN is a fangless paper tiger, but…

… given that we now have Susan Rice as the US Ambassador to the UN, Hillary as Secretary of State, and a Blue Donkey administration in charge of running things, US policies towards Sudan will gradually become starkly different than they were just a few months ago when Bush was still in power.

An ICC arrest warrant issued within this new context will now have more weight, and hence its potential issuance will probably be more useful as a tool for pressuring Omar al-Bashir to act in favor of peace in Darfur and implementing the CPA.

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Comments

9 comments

#9

[…] 11, 2009 Darfuris cry for justice, some African nations oppose Bashir’s arrest International court issues arrest warrant for Sudan’s BashirReports: Sudan’s al-Bashir to be arrested for war crimesSudan to allow new aid groups into […]

#8

[…] opposition to the arrest of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. Last March, Bashir was indicted for crimes against humanity, including murder, rape, torture, pillage and displacement of citizens of the Darfur region of […]

#7

The need for an International Criminal Court is absolutely essential. But, the need for fairness, transparency, and accountability are even more important for the success of any international authority. The current ICC is dysfunctional and has no credibility. No wonder; the United States does not even recognize its jurisdiction.

If we are really honest about combating crimes against humanity then we need to ask this question: what action has the ICC taken to prosecute those who continue to use excessive power and prohibited weapon to murder kids and women in Gaza. What happened to Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe? The ICC should hold all violators to same and one international legal standard, and it should promote justice not politics. Otherwise, it will be seen as biased and dysfunctional. As a result, real war criminals would get away with their crimes and rally their citizen behind them.
Domestically or internationally, JUSTICE is the key answer to all of today’s challenges including violence and extremism.

Let’s all work for justice, peace, and understanding because our challenges are interconnected. To be accrued, we don’t have any other option anyway, but to work together. If you have doubts about this then take a look to your economy—the world economy; It’s the globalization stupid!

#6

We should welcome the existence of the International Criminal Court. Justice may not come to the Sudanese President, but the mere act of an international body moving against genocide is good news to all.

As we march ahead as a society, we will always encounter obstacles. Progress of any type always encounters these obstacles as we move from a crude to a subtle way of living.

This is a never-ending process of struggle. It is the essence of life in its movement forward toward a “more perfect” existence. I feel we should not be discouraged by the predictable resistance we see from the Sudanese. We should just keep moving forward in our struggle against all forms of anti-social behavior and crimes against humanity.

#5

we Must move to the post tomorrow and will work for the day after tomorrow, this phenomenon must not be seen like a critical but as an opportunity to consolidate peace, justice and stability in our country. In order to think and work for the day after tomorrow, we must continue to do things that ensure and maintain peace and stability in our country , and must continue to strengthen the security and protection for all Sudanese citizens and all foreigners residing in Sudan.

#4

thank you for world focus.
Tomorrow after the International Criminal Court’s decisions some people will express themselves in different ways and some of the means of this expression would be through a public demonstration, that is their right if they prefer to do it as long as they do so peacefully and legally, although I believe that the demonstration is not the effective way to deal with the current situation resulting from the decisions of the International Criminal Court. By appeal to the membership of the SPLM and the citizens to refrain from demonstrations that could raise tensions and threaten the security of citizens and residents, or others may act to disrupt the political and diplomatic measures to break the current crisis. To my brothers and sisters Almwtmraloutny party: the president of your party is accused of serious crimes and serious such, is encouraging to say the least, but not the only brother-Bashir President of the National Congress, but is also the President of the Sudan in this context, the Sudanese had been injured the charges against him and wish to see a peaceful end to the crisis. This could happen tomorrow if the International Criminal Court annulled the issue was not taking place tomorrow, if the charges were accepted.
but with our new sudan we can say what we feel and know in our hearts that every world is real we can question all the ansers without fear to find the truth.

#3

Darfur rebels should also be held accountable for escalating the war in that region. The United States should play an active roll and put pressure on both sides to end the killing of civilians. What we don’t hear about that the Rebels of Darfur have done similar atrocities against the minority Arabs who live in that region. The ICC decision is one sided, is political, and is not going to solve that problem or even future conflicts. By the way, the war in Darfur has not been between the Sudanese government and Darfur civilians; it has been between two sophisticated armies—the government and the rebels who used civilians’ blood for cheap political agenda.

#2

ask god to cast away those evil spell, and ask him to throw some water in the well,Rise from your sleep and slumber, cant you see your more than sand on the sea shore, your more than number!

#1

man’ Can’t you see that you are killing your own country men, where is the love, where is the love. sudan what a beautiful country in the sun. rise up you mighty people its 2009′ dont let life pastyou by,

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