2008: The possibility of an International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrant
has certainly raised Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir's profile. At the moment
Bashir is "touring" Darfur and thumbing his nose at the United Nations. Issuing
the warrant may make reaching a peace settlement more difficult. The ICC's
decision to indict Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony is an example. Kony faced
trial on murder and rape charges. Why make a peace when peace means jail? That
said, Bashir is also a marked man. He can travel to Eritrea (which hates the
UN) and North Korea - assuming he doesn't land in a country that would stop his
plane and arrest him. That is unlikely. Still, if the warrant is actually
issued, he could get arrested. Bashir is wise to restrict his tourist ventures
2008: It looks like the Abyei situation has become a crisis once again. Government
forces attacked a village in the region. The government denied the reports.
2008: African Union (AU) members have asked the UN Security Council to
intervene with the ICC and not formally issue an arrest warrant for Sudan's
president Bashir. The AU requested the UN Security Council "defer for 12
months" the ICC prosecutor's action against Bashir. As it is, ICC judges
actually issue the warrant. It could (conveniently) take months for the ICC
judges to make a decision on the prosecutor's request.
2008: Darfur's Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) is once again proving to be
a politically savvy outfit. The JEM is now leveraging the potential ICC
indictment of Sudan president Omar al-Bashir. Since the indictment has "eroded"
Bashir's legitimacy the JEM wants to establish a "Transitional Government of
National Unity (acronym is TGONU). Presumably the TGONU would include the JEM.
2008: China accused Great Britain's BBC of "bias." On July 14 the BBC accused
China of violating a UN arms embargo. The BBC alleged China had sold arms to
Sudan and provided "trucks for military use." China has sold trucks to Sudan
but China insists the trucks were for "civilian uses." Thing is, all it takes
is a heavy machine gun or a light machine gun and a truck becomes a military
machine??and a very useful one in the Sahel region.
2008: Following an ICC prosecutor's request for an arrest warrant for Sudan's
president. The UN began moving 2500 "non-essential staff members" from Sudan to
Uganda. 200 UN workers flew to Uganda on July 14. The reason? Increased
security concerns. Bashir could take the request for a warrant very personally.
2008: The International Criminal Court's (ICC) senior prosecutor charged
Sudan's president Omar al-Bashir with genocide and crimes against humanity.