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Will Bashir warrant worsen war?

March 4, 2009

Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir has seen off other challenges in almost 20 years in power and there is no sign that he is going to give in to the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur.

Some supporters of the court’s move hope it will eventually persuade Sudan’s politicians to hand over their leader in a palace coup, end the festering conflict in Darfur and do more to repair relations with the West.

But many signs point in the other direction, turning Bashir further towards allies such as Russia and China as he strengthens his hold on power.

Some believe the court’s decision could worsen the fighting in Darfur because rebel movements will be emboldened and because Khartoum will feel that there is no longer any point in trying to pander to the West.

There are also concerns over what it could mean for the 2005 peace deal that ended the two-decade north-south war – although officials from the semi-autonomous south have been quick to say, in public at least, that they are standing behind Bashir.

While Bashir remains in power, the arrest warrant means the West has lost one of its strongest negotiating cards with Sudan — the offer to normalise relations.

The new U.S. administration could still offer Sudan the carrot of removing the country from its list of state sponsors of terrorism. But early statements from President Barack Obama and his team suggest they plan a tougher stance on Sudan.

Some of the 30 African countries who signed the founding statute of the International Criminal Court may start reconsidering their involvement. Many states already feel the court’s investigations to date have unfairly targeted the continent.

And there is no sign that Bashir will be arrested. Despite the call from the ICC for all countries to implement the warrant, he plans to go to an upcoming Arab summit in Qatar and intends to join future African summits. While Qatar has not signed up to the statute, if Bashir were to get away with visiting a country that has done so it might seriously challenge the court’s authority.

Was it right for the court to issue the warrant against Bashir? Will it improve the situation in Sudan or make it worse? Could it end up undermining the court? What do you think?


It is because justice is either delayed or not served at all to people such as Bashir that genocide still take place in this world. Who says that Africa is targeted by the ICC? One would wonder why Africa will not be a target when elections are rigged brazenly in places like Nigeria and Kenya and then many people loosing their lives in protest. there are many more people who are walking free today across Africa who suppose to be standing trial for crimes against humanity. People like Obasanjo of Nigeria and all those that killed more than two million Biafrans during the Nigeria-Biafra war of 1960-1970. It is because such people are not tried but rather rewarded with special envoy positions that genocide seems to be never ending in Africa.

More kudos to the prosecutor who have the audacity to indict a war criminal such as killer of Sudan.


If one has to look for any repressive leader in the World who killed millions with unnecessary war, Starvation, disease and suppressing dissent there is no comparison except hitlor to none other than Ethiopia’s tyrant Meles Zenawi. He would make his predecessor Mengistu and Sudan’s Bashir like boyscouts when anyone comaring the atrocities Meles committed since joining the tplf in the 70′s. This is what makes the western policies full of hypocracy since they turn a blind eye to Meles’s criminal activities, which also includes the recent solitary confinement of the Country’s FIRST FEMALE MAJOR PARTY (Opposition) LEADER, Birtukan Mideksa, while blowing trumpet on the comparatively petty activities of Mugabe and Al Bashir. So much for your hypocracy .. no one among more than 80 million Suppressed Ethiopians and their supportors would believe the West policymakers until they show their sincere and serious interest in Ethiopia’s Democracy which would be a Beacon for the African Continent!

Posted by Ewnetu | Report as abusive

here in africa we need peace.we have alot of problems and whatever we have is enough for the time being.the issue of bashir is complicated to the common person in the villiage who has been sufering but now there is a sign of peace in SS.
ss has been in war for the last 21yrs and anything to bring back more sufering to people is not welcome.


Wooooop!! what kind of world do we live? why not Bush and Blair, coz they are powerfull nations, day after day it reminds me that the western world duable games, lets hope court failure at the end. I would like to see that all 30 African countries to get rid of this ICC hell.



This so called ICC is an instrument of oppression whose its main goal consists of humiliation of african people. president Bashir is not the cause of this war. The multicompanies action this war for thier minable interest.

Posted by Pay | Report as abusive

Today Al-Bashir, tomorrow Khamenei and AhmadiNejad. These are humanlike-animals that have to be caught and thrown in the trashcan of the history. Islamic fundamentalism combined with racial hatred produces rapist beasts like al-Bashir and other turbaned monsters who rule Iran. Put them away and peace will come to the world.

Posted by I've been there | Report as abusive

i am surprise over the ICC decision, who this court has decided this? and on which Evidences?
Are there not present biger crimnals than the Al-Bashir or any one other?
there are many other crimnals Like Gorge W Bush senior And George W Bush Junior who had killed many million people during their rule.
And ofcourse why ICC is not issuing such warrants for the arrest of Isreli leaders who are busy today in killing innocent Palestinians.
As for Al-Bashir is concerned he was not involved in any genocide but protecting his country from Westren sponsor terrorism, and USA and other influntials Nation must halt their activities in destablising the Muslim Nations all over the world

Posted by A.R Azad | Report as abusive

Ocampo’s accusations are based on lies that would not stand in a court of justice. The burnt vilages and rape were carried out by the terrorist rebels JEM and by Janjaweed and bandits, not by the disciplined Sudanese Army. Surely the president can not be resposible of every criminal in his country, some of whom tried to invade the Capital Khartoum in May 2008 killing 200 people. However, BBC distorted reports were used together with fabricated lies as evidence against Bashir. Africans are questioniong who armed the rebels who came into existant at the time Sudan was reconciling with itself after 20 years bloody civil war and why are they used as pawns against independant Sudan. The oppressors just want to humiliate black African people who stand against oppression. They know quite well that Bashir or Sudanese people will not surrender. Like the Mahdi stood against the British 125 years ago and like the Sudanese Queen Candice Ammani-Raa (Kandaaka) who stood up against the Roman 2125 years ago. Bashir may lose his fight but Freedom loving Africans and others will not surrender. Down to neo-colonialism. I hope President Obama undestands this and do not veto if suspending the indictment goes infront of the Security Council

Posted by Kuku Abdulrassa3 | Report as abusive

If this is another Western plan to counter Chinese expansion in Sudan, it is implausible.
But if justice will be served for the victims of atrocity, whatever the cost, let’s have it. Considering the previous cases by the ICC, there is not prospect that the court will free from political biaise.


It is very difficult to bring justice to the world. War criminals are running rampant! Although most feel very secure within there own country. This seems like a test case for the Israel-Hamas war criminals. The Israelis claim they do not recognize the ICC, as non signatories, and Hamas the same. Both were democratically elected by there own people. The U.S. should send troops to open the border crossings and if either side gets violent they should be immediately smashed!

Posted by isaac stein | Report as abusive

OK, the most difficult, most significant part is done – he’s charged. Now the easy part – let’s send him a summons to come before the court and answer the charges.
What? He’s not coming? Let’s send a couple of sheriff’s deputies to put on him handcuffs and bring him to justice.
Hold on – looks like the deputies would get arrested themselves as soon as they land there.
Fine, what are the options? Maybe UN could ask President Obama to lend to ICC an aircraft carrier or two to back the deputies? Even if Obama were willing (which is not necessarily the case), the geography wouldn’t cooperate – Sudan is landlocked. Seems like the Navy can’t get within a striking range. Even long range bombers and cruise missiles would have to cross the airspace of Sudan’s neighbors, who probably would not consent to that. Besides, Bashir wouldn’t care if all the cities in Sudan were leveled, as long as his bunker and his Swiss bank account are intact.
What else? Sanctions? But Sudan is already under sanctions, and they don’t seem to work.
So the only thing left to ICC is to go back to easier targets. Like Serbs, whose only fault was that they tried to protect their country from dismemberment. Looks like Bashir’s indictment is – what’s the Anti-spam word of the day? – oh, yes, quite fittingly, it’s “TOAST”.

Posted by Anonymous | Report as abusive

Ok the facts are that in Sudan thier are many criminals. 40 year war between the central government and south, and on that wars heels another war in the west. so thier is enough criminals to go around 2, 3 times. that bing the case why is the ICC doing this right now to this man? granted he is a criminal. in my opinion is that in the long history of atrosities in the Sudan the Sudanes state did not collaps or the institutions of the state r still functioning. so to put this man in a corner will result in a biggier war that includes the capital and will destroy the state. first he will lash out aginst aid workers, which inturne harm the refugees, and he might lash out agaist them directly. and eventualy the turmoil WILL reach the capital. one dos not have to look far in the regon to se what that looks like, Somalia.

Posted by east africa | Report as abusive

A waste of time and money. Anonymous statement is very accurate.

Cut the ICC because the resources could be better used to help others in a more direct way.

Posted by buffalojump | Report as abusive

I think the route the ICC started to take is taking it to its grave . When we see the obvious, in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan which has been going on for years without doing anything and like nothing is happening, then where is the justice the court is looking to accomplish.I think the international organizations are becoming the new tool of colonization. I don\’t really mind when the ICC or any other organization take a guilty person to try him for his or her crimes, but when it becomes selective and politicized that is when questions are raised.The worst happened in other places let us see if ICC is going to get these criminals to justice or will the law stay applicable to the poor and those who got no voice or veto power.It is becoming a corrupt body and it got to go.

Posted by Jalal Wadrawa | Report as abusive

I also fully agree with Anonymous above!

The most likely scenario is that al-Bashir will remain in power in Sudan and continue business as usual. In this case, the conflict in Darfur will continue and even escalate further, while the Sudanese opposition and freedom of speech and expression are violently suppressed.

Justice is very important for the victims, post-conflict reconciliation, and the future of Darfur and Sudan. However, the aim of the international community should be to first bring peace to Darfur and then punish the perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity.


I find the ICC decision very strange. It seems someone is doing business. Otherwise, what is the point? See! did they thought what could happen to Sudan? If the active militia’s feel that tehy have been supported by the ICC, that simply means to will but in more warriors in to the field to ensure that they kill as much as they want because in the end whatever they do, ICC and its supporters will cover up and say it is the Al Bashir government doing it. It seems the justice will never be justice for Africa. Even the ICC is unjsut.

Posted by M Bokh | Report as abusive

I cannot believe many of these posted comments claiming neo-colonism and the west wanting to stifle China oil trade. The ICC has found this monster GUILTY of committing HORRIFIC CRIMES against HUMANITY!

What do you not get?

Over 300,000 human beings were RAPED, TORTURED and SLAUGHTERED at the command of this monster! The millions of others that barely survived, had their villages (homes) burned to the ground and forced to move as far away as possible. Now this monster is proving the ICC right by expelling 13 NGO’s leaving MILLIONS without basic food and water! Now this idiot WILL be guilty of GENOCIDE!

Again what is it that you do not get?


Its trajic but EU is a toothless tiger……….

Posted by JJ | Report as abusive

anonymous & co are right: the eu & icc are paper tigers and midget-kickers; islamist governments see harbis as a dime a dozen. albashir’s opponents need arms and training so that they can deal with their problem as they know how to best

Posted by jd | Report as abusive

I can understand the global policy reason for issuing the warrant, but how about actually charging him with Genocide?

Posted by Daniel | Report as abusive

I see the ICC move not really as a surprise.

With Zbigniew Brzezinski as Obama’s Geopolitical advisor and after reading “The Grand Chessboard”!

You can already see all Geopolitical decisions becoming reality as I write.

This is a direct economic attack against China, all these African wars that will follow will be fought under the Cloak of Humanitarian issues.

I love the timing of US foreign Geopolitical policies with Zbigniew Brzezinski involved it’s like following MEIN KAMPF life in the 21st century.

al-Bashir is a bad guy yes, but why now all of a sudden right out of nothing after all that time?

Were gonna be seeing, a deal with Taliban, destabilization of Pakistan, a deal with Iran just to piss Russia off and 2-3 Humanitarian UN wars with Mandates in Africa while Obama will sell it the African people in the same way his face duped most of Europe and 80% of America.

I suggest everyone should read Brzezinski’s book to have a outlook of what is being tried. Code named “second chance”

“The Grand Chessboard”!

Posted by LastReplay | Report as abusive

Intriguing, but I’m inclined to think this morally correct decision will not be the proper means to an end….a very sad situation.


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