Wednesday, February 3, 2010

President Omar Al-Bashir and The International Criminal Court

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The name President Omar Al-Bashir rings bell in the minds of so many people especially those from Africa who have heard of the lingering crises in the Darfur region of Sudan. That there has been a long standing war in that region is no longer news but what is important now is that the world seems to be helpless about the whole situation (like it did during the ethnic crisis in Rwanda).
If I may ask, what is the actual function of the United Nations Organization and its various arms? Why do they seem to be making a hell of noise and doing only little whenever there are problems? If they know that national autonomy or sovereignty of countries is stronger than the U.N why don’t they disband and let everybody take care of his own problems? It is totally useless for the U.N to pass a resolution or place a sanction on a country and some of its member would go through the back door to help that country out.

President Omar Ahmad Al-Bashir is the president of Sudan and the head of the National Congress Party. His time in office as the president of Sudan has seen the country pass through what today is regarded as one of the longest running and deadliest war of the 21st century. He granted limited autonomy to the Southern Sudan in 2004 as a way of trying to stop the raging war in the region but ever since the crisis has worsened between the Janjaweed Militia and other rebel groups notably the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), Sudanese Liberation Army (SLA) and the Justice and Equity Movement (JEM) resulting in a death toll of between 200,000 and 400,000, with about 2.5 million people displaced.

President Omar Al-Bashir was later fingered by the International Criminal Court as the brain behind the wanton killings in the region in 2008 and the prosecutor of the ICC, Luis Moreno-Ocampo issued a warrant of arrest against the president on the 4th of March 2009 on account of Genocide and crimes against humanity thereby making him the first sitting head of state to be indicted by the ICC. However, instead of receiving condemnation for his activities in Darfur President Omar Al-Bashir is being supported by The African Union led by Muammar al-Gaddafi, and the Arab league.

I am not in any way surprised that he is backed by these leaders who think that the action of the ICC was unreasonable and amounted to terrorism against the Sudanese people. Since majority of the African leaders are dictators who do not care about what happens to their citizenry, the natural thing for them to do is quickly rally round him as a way of ensuring same support for themselves should there be any threat to their position in the future. Now the question is who is terrorizing the people, is it the ICC that wants justice done or Omar Al-Bashir who is directly linked to the crisis? The president had since received invitations to visit Egypt, Uganda, Nigeria, Turkey and Denmark thereby making the warrant issued by the ICC null and void.

I wish to reiterate here that if the International Criminal Court cannot prosecute anybody/country there is no need for it to keep existing and lot of money is allocated to fund it. The best thing therefore would be for it to quietly pack up and leave countries to solve their problems their own way.

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