The NBC “Today” video in the post below details the charges and players involved in today’s news that the sitting Sudanese president may face a criminal warrant from the International Criminal Court (ICC) for genocide in Darfur….
Sudan President Omar Bashir
UNITED NATIONS – The chief prosecutor of the Internationals Criminal Court will seek an arrest warrant Monday for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, charging him with genocide and crimes against humanity in the orchestration of a campaign of violence that led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians in the nation’s Darfur region during the past five years, according to U.N. officials and diplomats.
The action by the prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo of Argentina, will mark the first time that the tribunal in The Hague charges a sitting head of state with such crimes, and represents a major step by the court to implicate the highest levels of the Sudanese government for the atrocities in Darfur.
ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo
“I will present my case and my evidence to the [ICC] judges, and they will take two to three months to decide,” Moreno-Ocampo said in an interview Wednesday, referring to a pretrial panel made up of judges from Brazil, Ghana and Latvia. “We will request a warrant of arrest, and the judges have to evaluate the evidence.” On Thursday, Moreno-Ocampo’s office said in a statement that the prosecutor will “summarize the evidence, the crimes and name individual(s) charged” at a news conference Monday in The Hague.
The ICC does not issue formal indictments, but simply presents its charges to the pretrial chamber and asks it to issue an arrest warrant for a suspect.
Moreno-Ocampo has charged at least 11 people since 2004 — in countries including Congo, Sudan, Uganda and the Central African Republic — and the pretrial chamber has never refused a public request for an arrest warrant.
The violence in Darfur began in February 2003 when two rebel groups attacked Sudan’s Islamic government, claiming a pattern of bias against the region’s black African tribes. Khartoum organized a local Arab militia, known as the Janjaweed, and conducted a brutal counterinsurgency campaign that has left more than 300,000 people dead and has driven more than 2 million more from their homes. The Bush administration accused the government of genocide.
Ahmed Haroun and Ali Kushyab
Officials familiar with Moreno-Ocampo’s investigation said Bashir is unlikely to surrender to the ICC anytime soon. The leader has refused to release to the court two other Sudanese nationals indicted in April 2007…
….and astoundingly even appointing one of them, Ahmed Haroun, to oversee international peacekeepers and humanitarian relief efforts.
Try to find the time or inspiration to read Don Cheadle and John Prendergast’s incredible book, “Not on Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond”
…or at the very least, rent or buy, and watch, the startling movie “Darfur Now”.
And yes, it’s available at Blockbuster and Wal-Mart.