Wednesday, March 04, 2009

A Historic Day: The ICC's Arrest Warrant for Sudan President's actions in inflicting suffering on Darfur

The International Criminal Court's arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has come not a day too soon - in spite of all that political regimes which are in principle more or less equally-guilty may plead in terms of danger to the "stability" of the region.

According to UN officials, up to 300,000 people have died and 2.7 million have fled their homes since the Darfur oppression began in 2003. The ICC's Prosecutors say that there was widespread murder of civilians in their villages, followed by continued attacks on them in refugee camps, and the Sudanese militia has systematically used rape as a weapon against Darfuri women.

Apparently, a number of African nations are considering pulling out of the court in response to the warrant. Good riddance to countries that don't want to belong to the civilised world say I - let them withdraw from the WTO and the UN, too!

Though the ICC action is unlikely to help the millions of Darfuris in refugees camps immediately, the warrant is an important signal of the norms that the international community intends to apply to everyone: the mere fact that someone is in office as a President is hardly a basis for avoiding the application of norms to their actions.

Rather the reverse. The Biblical view is that people in positions of power have GREATER responsibility to be accountable for their actions, and must pay MUCH MORE in terms of punishment than ordinary people for the same offenses.

It is of course true that no one is likely to arrest Bashir unless he leaves Sudan, or is handed over by the Sudanese. But everyone knows what happens to dictators sooner or later. Sphere: Related Content

1 comment:

Hannah said...

This the first step taken by ICC to bring people into justice irrespective of their political stature, will the ICC try and bring in this justice irrespective of the power of the nation and its ruler is still remaining to be answered. Take your stance on the issue at