Less than one day after Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir danced, sang, and mocked the International Criminal Court (ICC) at a public event in northern Sudan, the court lowered a long-expected boom on him: A three-judge panel at The Hague issued an arrest warrant for Bashir for war crimes against civilians in the country’s western region of Darfur.
A few hours later, John Prendergast, founder of the anti-genocide Enough Project, praised the court’s indictment, saying the judges drew “a bright and direct line” from the horrors of Darfur to the presidential palace in the capital city of Khartoum.
The Enough Project issued the following statement in response:
"The International Criminal Court arrest warrant for President Omar al-Bashir provides an unprecedented opening, making Sudan's prospects for peace riper than they have been in memory," said John Prendergast, co-founder of the Enough Project.
The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for the President of Sudan, Omar Hassen al-Bashir, for five years of violence in Darfur. In a Global press conference call on the International Criminal Court’s decision, John Norris, executive director of The Enough Project, stated that, “I think this is a very good day for international justice; I think it is a very good day for improved prospects for peace in Sudan.”
WASHINGTON, DC – The International Criminal Court in The Hague has issued an arrest warrant for President Omar al-Bashir, a historic action that marks the first time the tribunal has acted against a sitting head of state. The charges stem from a July 2008 request by ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo and include crimes against humanity and war crimes.
The warrant specifically did not include the charges of genocide requested by the Chief Prosecutor last July.
IT HAS BEEN 18 months since the United States concluded that genocide was taking place in Darfur. Yet President Bush, the only president to declare an ongoing genocide since the term was coined 50 years ago, has done little to stop this crime against humanity.
Why not? The answer may lie in the complex story of Salah Abdallah Gosh. Gosh isn't exactly a household name, but there are two groups of people for whom his name is exceedingly important: U.S. counterterrorism officials and victims of atrocities in Sudan.
Sudan's slow-motion ethnic cleansing campaign in Darfur has elicited an equally slow-motion international reaction, which has almost no impact at all. A U.N. Security Council deadline demanding Sudanese action has been reached without an adequate response from Khartoum. The international response to the horrors in the western region of Sudan remains appallingly ineffectual.
Donors have woefully under-resourced the humanitarian campaign. Their aid is frequently held up by Khartoum, which capriciously cites security problems it itself created by turning loose the Arab Janjaweed militias against the African Muslim population of Darfur.