March 4, 2009
The Guardian

Sudan President Charged With War Crimes

International criminal court issues warrant alleging war crimes and crimes against humanity

by Xan Rice

The Sudanese president, Omar al-Bashir, has been charged with war crimes over the conflict in Darfur, becoming the first sitting head of state issued with an arrest warrant by the international criminal court (ICC).

The court, based in The Hague, upheld the request of the chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, to charge Bashir with war crimes and crimes against humanity. More than 200,000 people have died since 2003 in the country's western Darfur region.

Judges dismissed the prosecution's most contentious charge of genocide. Prosecutors had alleged Bashir tried to wipe out three non-Arab ethnic groups. . . .

Sudan does not recognise the ICC, and Bashir yesterday said the court could "eat" the arrest warrant, which he described as a western plot to hinder Sudan's development. . . .

After the uprising in February 2003 by mainly non-Arab rebels, who complained of marginalisation and neglect, his government armed, trained and financed bands of Arab nomads to attack villages across Darfur, killing, raping and looting as they went. The army provided air and ground support.

Moreno-Ocampo says the strategy caused 35,000 violent deaths, and alleges that Bashir wanted to eliminate the Fur, Marsalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups, whom he deemed supportive of the rebels. . . .


International Criminal Court

"Darfur, Sudan: African Muslim vs. African Muslim," The Wisdom Fund, April 3, 2004

Enver Masud, "Sudan, Oil, and the Darfur Crisis," The Wisdom Fund, August 7, 2004

David Leigh and David Pallister, "The New Scramble For Africa," Guardian, June 1, 2005

Enver Masud, "Iraq War: 'Supreme International Crime'," The Wisdom Fund, June 29, 2005

Peter Erlinder, "Darfur Deception,", September 9, 2008

Javier Blas and William Wallis, "U.S. Investor Buys Sudanese Warlord's Land," Financial Times, January 9, 2009

Xan Rice, "Uproar in Sudan over Bashir war crimes warrant: Protests erupt and government attacks 'white man's court' after president is charged with Darfur war crimes," Guardian, March 4, 2009

[VIDEO: The horrendous crimes were committed 2003, 2004, and they're not being remedied. But the UN data, the data from Genocide Intervention Network, etc., indicates about 150 people are being killed every month in Darfur. . . .

David Crane, the former prosecutor in the special tribunal that indicted Liberian President Charles Taylor, says the same principles that led to Bashir's indictment could be used against Bush on the issue of torture.--"HRW's Richard Dicker and Scholar, Mediator Alex de Waal Debate International Criminal Court Indictment of Sudanese President for Mass Killings in Darfur,", March 6, 2009]

[What has not been reported anywhere in the English press is that the United States of America has just stepped up its ongoing war for control of Sudan and her resources: petroleum, copper, gold, uranium, fertile plantation lands for sugar and gum Arabic (essential to Coke, Pepsi and Ben & Jerry's ice cream). This war has been playing out on the ground in Darfur through so-called 'humanitarian' NGOs, private military companies, 'peacekeeping' operations and covert military operations backed by the U.S. and its closest allies.--Keith Harmon Snow, "Africom's Covert War in Sudan,", March 6, 2009]

Rory McCarthy, "Attack that killed arms smugglers in Sudan 'carried out by Israel'," Guardian, March 26, 2009

[Security sources say Israel and Iran are conducting rival intelligence operations in Eritrea, the poor African state on the Red Sea.--Uzi Mahnaimi, "Israelis warn of Eritrea flashpoint," Sunday Times, April 19, 2009]

[Israeli sources said the plans would focus on collaboration with rebel forces in the war-torn Darfour province--"Israel plans to strengthen ties with Sudan rebels," Guardian, April 7, 2009]

[The future of Sudan as a whole is closely tied to what happens in this oil-rich region--Stephanie McCrummen, "Precarious South Essential to Sudan," Washington Post, April 25, 2009]

[Ali Gunn and myself and a group of journalists were lucky enough to be invited to Sudan by the Sudanese Women General Union. The women's union in Sudan has got 27,000 branches all over Sudan, including Darfur. They have representatives in all the rural villages, across all different communities consisting of around 80 tribes and clans. . . .

We saw no evidence of any genocide. We were not embedded by the government nor with any NGO. We had absolute freedom to talk with whomever we wished.--"'We Saw No Evidence of Genocide' - Women in Darfur,", June 1, 2009]

Colum Lynch, "Sudan's 'Coordinated' Genocide in Darfur Is Over, U.S. Envoy Says," Washington Post, June 18, 2009

[The case against Bashir rankles many African leaders, who say it is hypocritical. They note that the Security Council, which authorized the Sudan probe, has three permanent members who never signed the treaty establishing the court: the United States, Russia and China.--Colum Lynch, "International Court Under Unusual Fire: Africans Defend Sudan's Indicted Leader," Washington Post, June 30, 2009]

Colum Lynch, "U.S. Diplomat Urges Revised Sudan Policy: Inclusion on Terrorism List Challenged," Washington Post, July 31, 2009

[Bashir accuses the UN-backed court of "double standards" and conducting a "campaign of lies".

Britain and other western countries were pursuing a politically motivated vendetta against him with the ultimate aim of forcing regime change in Sudan as well as in neighbouring Libya, he said. . . .

The UN estimates up to 300,000 people died and about 2.7 million were internally displaced as a result of fighting between government forces and their Janjaweed militia allies and the separatist rebel groups in Darfur that peaked in 2003-4. Sudan's government says about 10,000 people died and about 70,000 were displaced.--Simon Tisdall, "Omar al-Bashir: conflict in Darfur is my responsibility," Guardian, April 20, 2011]

"Sudan's Darfur gold rush brings death and displacement to Jebel Amer,", October 15, 2013

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