Monday, July 14, 2008

Darfur and the United Nations: Something's Happened

The International Criminal Court wants to arrest Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir. The charge is genocide.

I have little doubt that al-Bashir is responsible for much of the death and suffering in southwestern Sudan.
  • If
    • President al-Bashir is arrested
    • He's brought to trial
    • The trial goes smoothly
  • Then
    • There might be some relief for the people in Darfur
    • Al-Bashir's supporters might start starving, raping, and killing more often then they are now
    • What the ICC is doing might cause more suffering in the short term, but help end the Darfur problem
The only thing I'm sure of is that I'm very glad I don't have to make decisions for the ICC.

The matter of placing a head of state under arrest is rather new in international law. The International Criminal Court is a new organization, with roots going back only a little over a half-century, to the Nuremberg trials.

What we're seeing could be as important as the Magna Carta. But I'm not looking forward to what's likely to happen in the short run.

Previous post on this topic: Sudan's President and the ICC in the news:
  • "Sudan President's Arrest Sought by ICC Over Darfur (Update5)"
    Bloomberg (July 14, 2008)
    • "July 14 (Bloomberg) -- The International Criminal Court's prosecutor is seeking the arrest of Sudan's President Umar al- Bashir, alleging he bears 'criminal responsibility' for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur....
    • "...The ICC is the only permanent tribunal for prosecuting individuals responsible for war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity committed anywhere in the world. Its first judges were installed in 2003.
    • "The ICC has approved 12 arrest warrants that resulted in the custody of four people, said Dicker.
    • "The court was modeled on temporary tribunals set up to try war crime cases stemming from conflicts in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia as well as the first such trials held in the German city of Nuremberg after World War II...."
  • "CNN exclusive: ICC prosecutor on Darfur charges"
    CNN (July 14, 2008)
    • "(CNN) -- The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court is seeking the arrest of Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on charges of genocide in a five-year campaign of violence in the country's Darfur region. Luis Moreno-Ocampo spoke exclusively to CNN's Nic Robertson ahead of his announcement on Monday of the charges.
    • "Nic Robertson: What exactly are you accusing President Bashir of?
    • "Luis Moreno-Ocampo: We request a warrant for the crime of genocide -- 6a, b and c -- basically massive rapes and the condition of 2.5 million people -- in addition we charged him with crimes against humanity and war crimes.
    • "Q. For genocide though -- attempt to destroy an ethnic group in whole or in part -- which is an intent -- how do you prove intent?..."
  • "Sudanese president charged with genocide"
    CNN (July 14, 2008)
    • "(CNN) -- The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has filed genocide charges against Sudan's president for a five-year campaign of violence in Darfur.
    • "Luis Moreno-Ocampo on Monday urged a three-judge panel to issue an arrest warrant for President Omar Hassan al-Bashir to prevent the deaths of about 2.5 million people forced from their homes in the war-torn region of Darfur and who are still under attack from government-backed Janjaweed militia...."
  • "Arab parliament slams ICC move against Sudanese president "
    Xinhua (July 15, 2008)
    • "CAIRO, July 14 (Xinhua) -- The Interim Arab Parliament (IAP) on Monday criticized the plan of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to issue an arrest warrant against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for alleged war crimes in Darfur, the Egyptian official MENA news agency reported.
    • "The IAP is 'amazed and dismayed' by reports of the ICC move, which is stirring Arab nations' concern, head of the parliament Mohamed Jassem al-Saqr said in a statement.
    • "The ICC move raises the fear that the international court could become a tool of major world powers to intimidate smaller countries, al-Saqr was quoted as saying...."

5 comments:

minnesota classified ads said...

International Court has taken the right decision ,the charge is really serious but a right one to punish Omar Hassan for his sins.

Brian, aka Nanoc, aka Norski said...

minnesota classified ads,

Okay.

Brian, aka Nanoc, aka Norski said...

About

minnesota classified ads -

I did a little checking. The domain was registered earlier this year - by someone who actually lives in Minnesota.

It appears to be an online startup, with a good idea - I'm leaving the comment, since it's relevant to the post.

However, I do have an anti-spam policy, and do pay attention to comments.

Marinell said...

Hi Brian,

First of all, I want to salute your commitment to creating awareness about Darfur. Like you, I would like to create a wider understanding about this issue to help stop the genocide. You and your readers may be interested in two documentary films now available for download on iTunes, "The Devil Came on Horseback" and "Darfur Diaries: Message from Home."

I can provide you links and box arts, or set-up promotional giveaways for your readers, if you're interested.

I look forward to hearing from you.

More power!
Marinell

Marinell Montales
New Video Digital
902 Broadway, 9th Flo
New York, NY 10010
mmontales@newvideo.com
6462594102

Brian, aka Nanoc, aka Norski said...

Marinell,

Thanks for the good words.

I may not be taking you up on your offer, at least not any time soon: This blog has a particular focus, and the Darfur crisis is not near the center of that focus.

Important, yes. Critical, yes. Strictly on-topic for this blog, not quite.

Translation: I'll have to think about it.

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