Sudan president charged with genocide by international court
Sudan president Omar Hassan Al-Bashir was charged recently with genocide in Darfur by the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
This is the second arrest warrant that has been issued against Al-Bashir, who in March 2009 was charged for war crimes against humanity, the New York Times said.
The court ruled that Al-Bashir is guilty of genocide by three counts: By murder, by the infliction of both mental and bodily harm, and “by deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about physical destruction,” the AP said.
The order also cited rape, torture, poisoning of water, expulsions and killings as components of “the genocidal policy.”
They noted that “towns and villages inhabited by other tribes, as well as rebel locations, were bypassed, [but the] towns and villages of the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa were singled out for attack,” the New York Times said.
The charges against Bashir are connected to conflict in western Darfur where an estimated 300,000 people died and over two million were uprooted by perhaps a decade of fighting between the government and rebels, the New York Times said.
The genocide was committed in April 2003 against the Masalit, Fur and Zaghawa tribal groups in Sudan, the AP said.
They compose the three largest groups in Darfur, who have traditionally intermarried and are nominally Islam but retain old tribal practices. They shunned Arabization in favor of their old traditions, Strategy Leader says.
While the attacks on civilians and aid workers helping them were well documented, Bashir was nonetheless re-elected president in April amid boycotts, widespread fraud and intimidation reports, the New York Times said.
The added charge of genocide will place more pressure and further isolate Al-Bashir’s regime, the AP said.
International dealings and travels will be extremely curtailed with the genocide charge, the New York Times said.
Al-Bashir has so far been snubbed by many leaders of the 111 countries that recognize the court. A number of Arab and African leaders meet with him, but others have refused to do so stating they are legally bound to arrest him.
Bashir has been forced to avoid several events in Africa, the United States and Europe for the past two years, the New York Times says.
After the International Court’s first indictment in 2009, Al-Bashir responded by throwing out 13 international aid agencies in Darfur, further compounding the humanitarian crisis in the area. This was viewed as a confirmation of Al-Bashir’s intention to destroy the people in the area, the AP said.
The U.S. State Department urged Al-Bashir to face the court. However, Al-Bashir continues to defy court orders and denies all accusations, calling it a desperate attempt and a political campaign to foment instability and stop Sudan from making more economic improvements, the AP said.