Wednesday, March 4, 2009

al-Bashir indicted today

Well, I jumped the gun a wee bit a couple of days ago and it was only earlier today that Omar al-Bashir became the first sitting head of state to be issued with an arrest warrant by the international criminal court, today (ICC).(1) Now, I made my opinion on the matter crystal clear in Monday's post but a couple of points should be stressed. Firstly, the reaction in Khartoum, where within minutes of the announcement, protesters flocked to the streets, can be summed up by, an aide to Bashir, Mustafa Osman Ismail's comment who described the decision as "neo-colonialism"(2), while the ministry of information said in a statement: "There will be no recognition of or dealing with the white man's court, which has no mandate in Sudan or against any of its people."(3) Of course, the fact is this is a decision that the West and in particular the United States, France and the United Kingdom pushed for and what it does mean is that there might be a move on the part of the South of Sudan for independence before the planned 2011 referendum. This is an area that holds 85% of Sudan's oil and it is oil that is being largely exploited by the Chinese. Whatever, the crimes committed by Mr al-Bashir the real reason behind his indictment are obvious.
Finally, Omar al-Bashir has been indicted for his complicity in the deaths of more than 200,000 people in the Dafur region and we might, agree with Tawanda Hondora, the deputy director of Amnesty International's Africa programme, when he says, "This sends a strong signal that the international community no longer tolerates impunity for grave violations of human rights committed by people in positions of power."(4) We might agree; however, what signal is it sending? The shennanigans of France and the United States led to a genocide in Rwanda that was at least five times greater in scope and during the last decade various US governments have been instrumental in the murder of millions not only in Rwanda but also in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda. Believe me the decision of the ICC to indict Omar al-Bashir is a political decision and unless it is to be accompanied by indictments against western leaders for their complicity in the mass murder of civilians not only in Africa, but all over the globe, it cannot be applauded. Indeed, I suspect that had al-Bashir been indicted along with half a dozen other "western friendly" African leaders and their paymasters in Washington, London and Paris, then there wouldn't have been any demonstrations in the Sudan. One thing is for sure, with Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Blair, Museveni, Kagame and "our" zany Zionists in the dock along with al-Bashir a signal really would have been sent.
2 ibid
4 see 1 ibid
The picture shows al-Bashir; in the original caption it said he is responsible for 35,000 deaths. Christ, Bush is responsible for, at least, a couple of million

No comments: