Feature Article

Sudanese President faces charges of genocide

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 15 July 2008, 23:55 GMT]
Three years after the United Nations Security Council requested Luis Moreno-Ocampo, prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (ICC), to investigate in Darfur, the Prosecutor said Monday that there are reasonable grounds to believe that Sudanese President, Omar Hassan Ahmad AL BASHIR, bears criminal responsibility in relation to 10 counts of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Sudanese President Al Bashir
Sudanese President Al Bashir
"We will never cooperate with the ICC," Sudan's U.N Envoy, Mohamad said, noting that Sudan, like the United States, is not a signatory to the court's founding treaty. "This is a criminal move that will torpedo the march forward" of the country, Washington Post said, quoting Mohamad.

Mr Ocampo presented evidence that reasonably showed that Al Bashir masterminded and implemented a plan to destroy in substantial part the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa groups, on account of their ethnicity...AL BASHIR failed to defeat the armed movements, so he went after the people. “His motives were largely political. His alibi was a ‘counterinsurgency.’ His intent was genocide, ” the Prosecutor said, according to the ICC website.

For over 5 years, armed forces and the Militia/Janjaweed, on AL BASHIR orders, have attacked and destroyed villages. They then pursued the survivors in the desert. Those who reached the camps for the displaced people were subjected to conditions calculated to bring about their destruction, the Prosecutor said.

For over 5 years, millions of civilians have been uprooted from lands they occupied for centuries, all their means of survival destroyed, their land spoliated and inhabited by new settlers. ‘In the camps AL BASHIR’s forces kill the men and rape the women, the Prosecutor added.

Al BASHIR’s intent to commit genocide became clear with the well coordinated attacks on the 2.450.000 civilians who found a haven in the camps. “AL BASHIR organized the destitution, insecurity and harassment of the survivors. He did not need bullets. He used other weapons: rapes, hunger, and fear. As efficient, but silent.” Said the Prosecutor.

The First Pre-Trial Chamber will now review the evidence. If the judges determine that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the named individual committed the alleged crimes, they will decide on the best manner to ensure his appearance in court. The Prosecution has requested an arrest warrant, according to the ICC website.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is an independent, permanent court that tries persons accused of the most serious crimes of international concern, namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The ICC is based on a treaty, joined by 106 countries. The jurisdiction and functioning of the ICC are governed by the Rome Statute.

Note however that, The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN). The ICJ was established in June 1945 by the Charter of the United Nations, and its role is to settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted to it by States.


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External Links:
ICC: Case against Sudanese President, Hassan Ahmad AL BASHIR
WP: Sudan Vows to Fight Charges Of Genocide Against Its Leader
ICC: Rome Statute of the ICC
ICJ: International Court of Justice
NPR: Sudan's President Charged With Genocide In Darfur
ICC: International Criminal Court
CNN:  Sudanese president charged with genocide
AP: Sudan president charged with genocide in Darfur
ICC: Prosecutor's Statement on warrant of Arrest Against AL BASHIR


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