The engine of justice sputtered to life on July 14, 2008, and back then, in “Darfur Gasps For Air While The World Waits,” I argued for political valor from temporal powers that be and loudly lauded the efforts of Mr. Luis Moreno Ocampo, chief-prosecutor at the International Criminal Court.
At the time, a brave prosecutor went ahead amidst screams to keep quiet and filed charges with the Court at The Hague against Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir, the president of the republic of the Sudan.
On March 4, 2009, almost nine months after this sputter, a remarkable roar was made by the same engine with the issuance of an arrest warrant for the Sudanese president, the first of its kind against a sitting Head-of-State.
According to the Court, there are reasonable grounds to believe Omar Al Bashir is criminally responsible as an indirect perpetrator, or as an indirect co-perpetrator to acts of war crimes and crimes against humanity amongst which are murder, torture, rape, extermination, and forcible transfer.
In an ideal world, such a roar of the engine (with all else functional) will result in the advancement of an automobile. But as we do not live in the ideal, the actions and words of Mr. Al Bashir have proved affirmative. Mr. Al Bashir continues to defy the mandate and jurisdiction of the Court, repeatedly stating his avowed refusal to co-operate with the Court.
The man is a hoodlum and deserves to be treated as such. This is all the more reason why Mr. Al Bashir should submit himself to the hands of justice and stand trial for his alleged crimes.
There has been porous and sickening political will in dealing with the president of the Sudan. African leaders have decided to be unaccountable and unrighteous by demanding that Mr. Al Bashir be left alone—a glaring portrait of their own uneasiness with their legacies which they pray never see more light of day than it already has.
The argument that the issuance of an arrest warrant for Mr. Al Bashir brings escalation of hostilities to the region and further creates backlash on citizens living in Darfur is acutely narrow-minded and plainly foolish. Since 2003 when this kingdom of hell began, what has changed without the issuance of an arrest warrant?! Have Darfuris ceased to die in thousands as a result of a compassionate and just government?!
True, while Mr. Al Bashir might dig deeper into his bag from hell for more horrors to inflict on Darfuris, the heart of the matter remains the status quo is not an acceptable course of action nor is that which hopes for a loving Al Bashir. Although in the days after the issuance of the arrest warrant, the Sudanese president expelled a sizable number of foreign aid workers and cut off relief to war-stricken citizens, this must not hinder the advancement of justice. It is darkest the hour before dawn and as such Mr. Al Bashir’s acts of reprisal must be viewed through such prism.
Representatives of Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad have visited Mr. Al Bashir in the wake of this development and have pledged their united support to his government.
Personally, I do not care how Mr. Al Bashir chooses to make his trip to The Hague. Of one thing I’m certain, Mr. Al Bashir is the head of a vicious monster called the Sudanese government and must give account for its actions. Mr. Al Bashir doesn’t have to show up alive before the Court to answer to justice, his corpse will do just fine if he continues to take his current stance. All that matters is that his body, living or dead, shows up very soon in response to all those thousands of innocent bodies that lay buried under the Sudanese sun.