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Hat Tip: Luis Moreno-Ocampo vs Omar Hassan al-Bashir, Bastard of Darfur

July 14, 2008

A top-100 list gives Omar al-Bashir too much company. In a number of ignominious post-World War II categories, Sudan’s dictator ranks in the top five: most deaths as a result of war strategies (2.5 million in Darfur and southern Sudan), most people rendered homeless by scorched-earth policies (7 million), most villages burned to the ground (at least 1,500 in Darfur alone).

Bashir’s one goal is to maintain power. He has sown discord in Darfur with a classic divide-and-conquer strategy. As a result, interethnic conflict is tearing the region apart, and attacks on aid agencies by government and rebel militias have left a million people beyond the reach of humanitarian aid. Bashir, 63, has blocked the deployment of a larger U.N.-led peacekeeping operation that would protect Darfur’s civilians.

And yet something good may come from Bashir’s bloody legacy. In universities, synagogues, churches and town halls across the U.S., Americans are writing letters and raising hell about Washington’s inaction in response to Darfur. Citizen groups around the world are following suit. In a David-vs.-Goliath scenario, only the activism of ordinary people will galvanize the action necessary to stop Bashir and future war criminals.

Sudan president ‘masterminded’ Darfur genocide: ICC

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court formally requested an arrest warrant for Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir Monday, accusing him of masterminding and implementing a plan to wipe out three African tribes in Darfur with a campaign of mass murder, rape, torture and genocide.

But while the ICC is being praised for bringing charges against Sudan’s President, some observers say the charges might complicate efforts to negotiate with the Sudanese government to deploy more United Nations peacekeepers in the troubled region.

luis-moreno-ocampoProsecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo, of Argentina, presented a three-judge panel in The Hague with evidence he has amassed to support 10 charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes against Mr. Bashir, who, if the indictment proceeds, will become the first head of state to face charges before the ICC. He accused Mr. Bashir of personally directing a campaign “to destroy in substantial part the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa” tribal groups in Darfur.  Janjaweed, Arab militias, armed by the Sudanese government and paid to do its dirty work.

While one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises continues some 600 miles away in Darfur, across Khartoum bridges are being built, office towers are popping up, supermarkets are opening and flatbed trucks hauling plasma TV’s fight their way through thickening traffic.

Despite the image of Sudan as a land of cracked earth and starving people, the economy is booming, with little help from the West. Oil has turned it into one of the fastest growing economies in Africa — if not the world — emboldening the nation’s already belligerent government and giving it the wherewithal to resist Western demands to end the conflict in Darfur.

They live in temporary refugee camps. They live in terror and despair.  They are living breathing examples of PTSD, only because they had the audacity to survive.  They tell their story that overwhelm westerners.  They have to watch their aid workers tracked and attacked. These survivors demonstrate vestiges of ancient atrocities that the modern world thought it had outgrown.

Civilization has regressed.  The redefinition of civilization should be published as an ideal instead of a reality.  Today’s world shows, that whatever progress we pride ourselves in is a delusion.  America’s homeless live in luxury under bridges, they have safety offered to them should they choose to accept it.  Most of America’s homeless have stepped away from society through circumstance or mental condition.  American squalor is luxury, compared to Darfur, hands down.

Arrest Is Sought of Sudan Leader in Genocide Case

We have seen the never ending humanitarian disaster unfold for years.  We have seen world celebrities bring attention to this shameful man made catastrophe. We have seen WESTERN LEADERS make excuses for not intervening to stop the slaughter.  Now!  After conservative figures of two and a half a million murders, someone finally has the guts and resources to same something meaningful! HAT TIP to: The prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo at the International Criminal Court formally requested an arrest warrant on Monday for Sudan’s president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the past five years of bloodshed in the Darfur region of his country.

The prosecutor’s pursuit of Mr. Bashir introduced new volatility to the already chaotic situation in Darfur. While some diplomats and analysts worried that the move would undermine efforts to negotiate peace and provide aid to the millions displaced by violence, others said it offered new leverage to pressure the Sudanese government to end the conflict in Darfur.

Bracing for reprisals, United Nations peacekeepers and aid workers stepped up security in Darfur and pulled out all but the most essential civilians. Sudan promised not to vent its outrage on them, but said it would unleash a “diplomatic war” to try to scuttle the case.

It was the first time the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court had brought genocide charges against anyone. It was also the first time the prosecutor had brought charges against a sitting head of state since the court opened its doors in 2002. Two other presidents, Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia and Charles Taylor of Liberia, were charged by other international war crimes courts, also while they were in office.

The Prosecutor

I deeply hope that the horrors humanity has suffered during the 20th century will serve us as a painful lesson, and that the creation of the International Criminal Court will help us to prevent those atrocities from being repeated in the future.”

Statement made by Luis Moreno-Ocampo on the occasion of his election as first Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court by the Assembly of States Parties in New York on 22 April 2003.

ICC Prosecutor presents case against Sudanese President, Hassan Ahmad AL BASHIR, for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur.

The Hague, 14 July 2008

Situation: Darfur, Sudan

ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo has presented evidence today showing that Sudanese President, Omar Hassan Ahmad AL BASHIR committed the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur.

Three years after the Security Council requested him to investigate in Darfur, and based on the evidence collected, the Prosecutor has concluded there are reasonable grounds to believe that Omar Hassan Ahmad AL BASHIR bears criminal responsibility in relation to 10 counts of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

The Prosecution evidence shows that Al Bashir masterminded and implemented a plan to destroy in substantial part the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa groups, on account of their ethnicity. Members of the three groups, historically influential in Darfur, were challenging the marginalization of the province; they engaged in a rebellion. AL BASHIR failed to defeat the armed movements, so he went after the people. “His motives were largely political.  His alibi was a ‘counterinsurgency.’  His intent was genocide. ” The Prosecutor said.

We must watch this process, and support these efforts, to make tyrants accountable for their atrocities.  We must condemn our own politicians, who contribute empty declarations, and block humanitarian efforts, while victims multiply.  There is a hint of racism hidden in these actions.  What these sorry public servants, who see themselves as world leaders, offer, is a look into how they really feel about less fortunate populations.  They are expendable.  That part is loud and clear.  America is the most guilty of neglecting this horror.  Blind eyes to genocide is convenient when oil is the obsession.  After all, a manufactured war is hard to keep up with, it’s a high maintenance project to keep the spin going.

Hat Tip to those brave and persistent celebrities, who lifted these atrocities out of obscurity and kept the pressure on.  They are better humanitarians than the countries they represent. ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo should become a world celebrity for this effort.

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