It's done. The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague has issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.
Al-Bashir is charged on two counts of war crimes and five counts of crimes against humanity. This makes him a suspected criminal wanted in the 108 nations who ratified the ICC's Rome Statute. The US is not one of them, by the way, since Bush "unsigned" the US back in 2002.
Bashir is the first head of state to be indicted by the ICC while still in office. (Full)
ICC Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo said Bashir masterminded and implemented a plan to destroy in substantial part the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawah groups, on account of their ethnicity. "His motives were largely political, his alibi was a ‘counter-insurgency’, his intent was genocide". (Full)
While this is bad news for anyone in the world trying to get away with genocide, even within their own national territorial borders, here is a dark after-thought: Why would this happen for the Sudanese president and not for the leaders of Hamas and Israel who caused the suffering of Gaza civilians. Israel surely scored extra points for a criminal case due to its use of phosphorous bombs and targeting aid convoys, UN facilities and civilians.
How about indicting Bush and his gang on the basis of crimes against humanity? After all, they invaded a country causing thousands of deaths, millions of displaced, and dragging a whole region into violent turmoil? Unilaterally and on basis of forged evidence.
PS: Keep an eye on my predictions on how the situation will evolve inside Sudan.
Update March 5: Trouble already starts: Sudan expels 10 aid agencies
(more updates in the side column)
Discovered via The Road Daily.
Picture courtesy Antony Njuguna/Reuters