Does ICC arrest warrant for Al-Bashir signal dawn of new era for Sudan?

Category: Commentary
Published on Sunday, 08 March 2009 07:58
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Ottawa - The implications for the indictment and the warrant of arrest for Sudanese Field Marshall Omar Al-Bashir, the military ruler that is criminal to his core are immense. Since his violent usurpation of power in a military coup under the umbrella of the National Islamic Front (NIF).on June 30, 1989, that overthrew an elected government of the then prime minister, Sadiq Al-Mahdi. Al-Bashir and the NIF governed the country through an Islamist dictatorship that promoted global terrorism, human rights abuses and fostered an Islamic religious fundamentalism. This military junta intentionally launched, orchestrated, and knowingly enabled a consistent pattern of gross human rights abuses against the Sudanese civilian population in the South, the Nuba Mountains, and Darfur.

President Omar is not only responsible for gross human rights abuses and genocide in Darfur that has killed more than two hundred thousands of African tribes and displacing millions others. He is also responsible for arming, training and paying Janjweed Arabs to kill and displace non-Arab tribes in Darfur. Furthermore, in South Sudan, Omar Al Beshir is responsible for human rights abuses in South Sudan especially the Hidden Holocaust (now known as Juba Killing) of1992.

President Omar re-instated slave-raiding in South Sudan using it not only as a policy of terror, aimed directly at non-combatants, but also as a tool designed to make them flee their territory as the main targets of slavery abductions are women and children. This is in keeping with his assimilation project in South Sudan, Nuba Mountains, and Darfur.

Captured South Sudanese were reared as Muslims and given Arabic names. Women who were raped by their Arab captors gave birth to Arab children, ensuring the propagation of Arab lineages (for documentation of rape as a weapon of war in the Nuba Mountains, African Rights, Facing Genocide: the Nuba of Sudan , London, 1995, pp.221-42 ).

The mandate of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is to indict and issue arrest warrants against individuals such as Al Beshir, but not the state. This is designed to bypass the question of sovereignty, which is an obstacle in the United Nations Human Rights Commission and the United Nations Security Council.

So far the ICC is showing no signs of relenting or postponing the decision to issue an arrest warrant. This is sending a strong message to the rest of the African dictators that they can run but they cannot hide from the ICC forever. The ICC issued an arrest warrant so that president Al-Bashir will follow Charles Taylor, the architect of most of Liberia’s problem to face justice.

For the international community to have faith and confidence in the ICC, and for its credibility to be respected and be taken seriously by human rights violators such as president Robert Gabriel Mugabe, president Hosni Mubarak, and LRA rebel leader Joseph Kony and former president of Ethiopia- Mengistu Haile Mariam who’s taking refuge in Zimbabwe, and many others, the ICC should arrest Al Beshir and bring him to justice.

However, the issue of Al Beshir’s arrest warrant may cost so much damage to western interests in Africa, and other part of the world since Sudan is a state sponsor of terror; and it has links with terror organizations such as Al-Qaeda, Mujahidin fighters, Hizbollah, Palestine Islamic Jihad, Egypt’s al-Gama’at al-Islamiyya, Hamas, other groups of Algerian extremist Islamist and the Government of Iran whose stated goal is to wipe the State of Israel out of the world map.

Sudan, also, has provided Ramirez Sanchez, better known as Carlos the Jackal, and Osama Bin Laden refuge in mid 1990s. Based on these linkages, there might be attacks on the western interests by one of these groups and the terrorist organizations may use locals population in Africa to attack western embassies, companies, development organization, schools and kidnapped western citizens working abroad (Ambassador Robert Fowlerand Louis Guy are classic example of Al-Qaeda kidnapping strategy). These terror groups may even attempt to hijack planes reminiscent of 9/11. As such, it is imperative that the International community must prepare itself for all possible attacks.

Furthermore, Western countries, the United Nations Security Council and the Intergovernmental Agency for Development states (IGAD) must designed strategy to insure that Omar and the NIF will not throw the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) into a trash basket as previous Northern regimes had done with South-North treaties.

Now that the ICC has issued the arrest warrant the possibility of Omar Al Beshir being the ruler of Sudan is severely limited, and the NIF may elect a hard-liner to replace Al Beshir. Or they may let Salva Kiir replace him but it remains a question whether the hardliners can accept Salva Kiir as a replacement for Al-Bashir.

Most likely, Al-Bashir may resign to give an opportunity to the NIF hard-liners to bypass the implementation of the CPA, Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) and the Doha Agreement.

The outcome will, then, be war. With CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY, GENOCIDE, and VIOLATIONS OF THE LAWS AND CUSTOMS OF WAR, will President Omar Al-Bashir be arrested? Will Sudanese people see the dawn of a new beginning without consistent pattern of gross human rights abuses against the Sudanese civilian population in the South, the Nuba Mountains, and Darfur?