al-Bashir accused of war crimes and genocide in Darfur

At last there is some international organisation with some spine. Although the practicality of this accusation is doubtful – nobody even dreams that al-Bashir, the genocidal president of Northern Sudan will ever appear in court for his crimes in Darfur and beyond – the symbolism behind it is powerful. It is powerful because it says it like it is. President al-Bashir’s mission in Darfur is genocidal and utterly criminal. Yes, he is is fighting rebels intent on dislodging him from power (and as I have stated before I am no sympathizer of rebel movements) but the way he is doing it in Darfur is not the right way.

The prosecutor of the international criminal court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, brought the case against al-Bashir on account of the more than 300,000 deaths in Darfur over the last five years.

Again, al-Bashir may never see the inside of a cell in the Hague but it is a triumph for justice, or more appropriately, the quest for justice. Almost half a million have died and millions displaced while the international community ‘dillies and dallies’ about Sudan’s sovereignty. A nation forfeits its sovereignty the moment it starts butchering its own people. Period.

Omar Hasan Ahmad al-Bashir and his kind throughout Africa and the world should be made aware of the fact that there are people out there who are dedicated to bringing them to justice. As usual, I am disappointed by the AU’s reaction to all this. I am kind of curious as to how the more outspoken (radical) presidents on the continent – Senegal’s Wade, Botswana’s Khama and Rwanda’s Kagame – will react to this. I hope that they will continue in their commitment to telling it like it is, unlike their more defensive counterparts.

On a related note. I wish more Darfuri rebels and Janjaweed militia alike could also be brought to book because all three parties (the JEM rebels, janjaweed and the government of Northern Sudan) are causing untold suffering to innocent civilians in this war.

2 thoughts on “al-Bashir accused of war crimes and genocide in Darfur

  1. I join you in applauding the ICC’s move. Although the impact on al-bashir himself will be slight at best, it sends the right message to would-be genocidairs. The recent capture of former Serbian strongman Radovan Karadzic is another cause for celebration.

    I’m interesting in hearing your thoughts about the Zimbabwe situation. In the interest of finding a negotiated settlement to an agonizingly protracted election scandal, would you be in favor of giving Mugabe and his cronies with a blanket immunity for all past crimes? In other words, does the immediate resolution of a political (or any other) conflict and the hope of removing a tyrant and moving a deeply troubled country forward take precedence over the pursuit of justice?

    your friendly neighborhood panda.


  2. I think that society and the accompanying political institutions are founded on justice and because of that justice should be the ultimate pursuit, regardless of the circumstances. So yes, I think that both Bashir and Mugabe should be tried for crimes against their people.


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