Friday, July 11, 2008

ICC to charge Sudanese Prez with genocide: no, seriously!

From MSNBC/WaPo, via Opinio Juris:

The chief prosecutor of the Internationals Criminal Court will seek an arrest warrant Monday for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, charging him with genocide and crimes against humanity in the orchestration of a campaign of violence that led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians in the nation's Darfur region during the past five years...


The violence in Darfur began in February 2003 when two rebel groups attacked Sudan's Islamic government, claiming a pattern of bias against the region's black African tribes. Khartoum organized a local Arab militia, known as the Janjaweed, and conducted a brutal counterinsurgency campaign that has left more than 300,000 people dead and has driven more than 2 million more from their homes. The Bush administration accused the government of genocide.

I guess people are going to have to stop accusing Luis Moreno-Ocampo of pussy-footing around. Of course, there's always a chance the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber won't issue the warrant, but I doubt the prosecutor would go forward on such a contentious issue without a rock-solid case.

There are concerns that this move by the ICC will jeopardize the UN and African Union peacekeepers already in the area, but since the government appears actively hostile to them anyway, I'd say it's not a big enough risk to change anybody's mind in the Hague.

The Beeb offers this overview of the Darfur situation: Q&A: Sudan's Darfur conflict.

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