So in the last few days there has been uproar in Europe over the ludicrous jailing of a British teacher in Sudan because she let her young students christen a teddy bear Mohamed ……. really Sudan, really? Luckily for the poor well-meaning lady the international attention that was generated by her arrest and the resultant embarrassment to the Sudanese top brass made the Bashir government decide to pardon her and have her taken back to the UK.
This got me thinking, it is apparent – at least after this incident – that Bashir cares about what people outside Northern Sudan (East of Darfur) and China think of him. Just like embarrassment was used to put some sense into his administration about this teddy bear incident may be the international community can embarrass him with different kinds of stories about Darfur. Stories with a human face.
A lot of the stories coming out of Darfur have mostly included blanket reports on atrocities and numbers of those dead and displaced but we have not yet had a well publicised story of a poor woman, named say Aisha, who may have been raped, had a village razed to the ground and then left to die by the Janjaweed but who mysteriously survived. May be after Bashir sees these human stories he might just be persuaded into accepting the fact that Darfur needs more attention than it is getting right now from Khartoum.
As the world continues to call him names and antagonise him, Bashir might be growing even thicker skin and plugging his ears. What he can’t ignore, it seems, is an assault on his pride and his basic human sensibilities.
I have focussed on Bashir but this could apply to all those involved in the atrocities in Darfur, including the men bearing the red flag from the East.