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Published 6th March 2009

Vol 50 No 5


Sudan

Omer the outlaw

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures
Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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The Islamist regime shows its true colours as the ICC issues the arrest warrant for President Omer el Beshir

The arrest warrant for President Omer Hassan Ahmed el Beshir, which the International Criminal Court issued on 4 March, is a landmark event (AC Vol 50 Nos 2 & 4). For Sudan, the seven charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes confirm the National Congress Party (aka National Islamic Front) regime's ethnic cleansing policy in Darfur. 'He is suspected of being criminally responsible, as an indirect (co-) perpetrator, for internationally directing attacks against an important part of the civilian population of Darfur, Sudan, murdering, exterminating, raping, torturing and forcibly transferring large numbers of civilians, and pillaging their property,' said the ICC.


Caviar and cholera

Mugabe celebrated his 85th birthday as his allies obstructed Morgan Tsvangirai's team in the new government

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Next, the mines

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The barons of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front are jostling for mineral riches as the power-sharing government struggles to make its mark. They are joined by Chi...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

The International Criminal Court’s issuing of an arrest warrant for Sudan’s President Omer el Beshir for crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur poses a profound moral challenge. Officials across Africa, including three Presidents, have told Africa Confidential that they have no doubts about Omer’s guilt but fear that no one is prepared to address the consequences of the ICC’s decision. Threats by intelligence chief Sallah Abdullah Gosh to mutilate those cooperating with the ICC sho...
The International Criminal Court’s issuing of an arrest warrant for Sudan’s President Omer el Beshir for crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur poses a profound moral challenge. Officials across Africa, including three Presidents, have told Africa Confidential that they have no doubts about Omer’s guilt but fear that no one is prepared to address the consequences of the ICC’s decision. Threats by intelligence chief Sallah Abdullah Gosh to mutilate those cooperating with the ICC should be taken seriously. We have credible reports that Sudanese security has tortured relatives of exiles suspected of helping the ICC. Khartoum’s expulsion of ten foreign aid agencies, claiming they have cooperated with the ICC, and its closure of two Sudanese human rights groups means that thousands more people will die of disease in the camps housing over two and a half million displaced by the Darfur war. There needs to be more protection for Sudanese civilians if the ICC warrant is to stand a chance of helping them. Western governments should supply the peacekeepers with the equipment, airlift and surveillance capacity to do their job. The ICC should get the resources it needs to run a comprehensive protection programme for witnesses and their families. Furthermore, the UN Security Council should spell out clear consequences to the Khartoum regime of continued attacks on its own people rather than complying with international law.
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