Tag Archives: Sudan

Omar al-Bashir And Muslim Hypocrisy

Sudan President Omar al-Bashir who has been accused of war crimes against the people of Darfur was warmly greeted in Qatar where he arrived for a meeting of the Arab League. The 22 member Arab League said it would not enforce a warrant issued by the International Criminal Court since it does not believe the Sudan leader is guilty of any crimes. The Arab League issued a statement: “the leaders reject attempt to politicize the principles of international justice and using them to undermine the sovereignty and unity and stability of Sudan.” Of course, Muslim nations never hesitate to condemn the state of Israel for its actions, but apparently the murder of 300,000 people in Darfur by Omar al-Bashir is of no importance to these supposed fighters for human rights.

Those who fight for the rights of Palestinians and refuse to condemn the slaughter of 300,000 and rape of thousands of women only reveal themselves to be hypocrites. Apparently, for defenders of the rights of Palestinians there are two standards — one for Israel and none for Muslim societies which kill.

Did Israel Hit Sudan Convoy?

The government of Sudan charged that Israeli planes struck a convoy carrying arms which was in Sudan and headed to deliver their cargo to Gaza. According to a CBS report, 39 people were killed in the assault which occurred shortly after the invasion of Gaza concluded. “A convoy of vehicles carrying illegal weapons was bombed near the Sudanese-Egyptian border in mid-January,” according to a Sudanese official. Israeli army officials refused to comment. However, Israel newspapers claim there is an international network which has been organized to deliver weapons to Palestinians.

The unanswered question is whether Israel believes it has the right to strike any nation anywhere on grounds it is defending its national interests. Certainly, that is what George Bush claimed as justification for invading Iraq. The danger is at some point attacking other nations will result in a counter bombing which could escalate into wider war.

Egyptian Hypocrisy Over Sudan

Gamal Nkruma, writing in Al-Ahram, blasted the International Criminal Court warrant for the arrest of Sudan President Al-Bashir and claimed it was a typical western double standard approach that focuses on Muslims and ignores other issues of genocide. He argues removing Bahir will somehow lead to “chaos” and result in a civil war that would send millions across the border into Egypt. “Why is the Sanese president indicted for war crimes when the Israeli leaders are not l brought to book for the atrocities committed in Gaza? Why is the Sudanese president signaled out for retribution?” He admits that Sudan has “committed mistakes and human rights violations,” but his nation can not stand by and “watch our brethren in Sudan suffer such indignities at the hands of the ICC.” In a nutshell, his argument is the indictment is another example of the West intervening in the affairs of a Muslim nation.

The murder of 300,000 people and the rape of thousands of women in Darfur is not exactly in the same league at the Israel invasion of Gaza. These actions are not merely “mistakes” and human rights violations, they are deliberate acts to kill and rape. There is no such evidence the Israel government has any such plans. The invasion of Gaza was wrong, it was an over-reaction to provocation from Hamas rockets, but it was not part of a plan to completely wipe out the people living in Darfur.

I find it interesting the Egyptian writer mentions Israel war crimes but ignores the FIVE MILLION KILLED IN CONGO or the 60,000 killed in Uganda. The essence of a war crime is that it was committed in a deliberate manner according to a plan of death for large numbers of people and there were no grounds of provocation by the victims. Sudan fits that description. Why don’t Arab nations ever cite the mass murder in the Congo or Uganda? Just wondering.

What Can Be Done In Darfur?

The International Criminal Court has rendered its verdict that Sudan leader President al-Bashir is a war criminal and like any good criminal his response is to fight back regardless of the cost to the people of Darfur. On one hand, the world is taking note that genocide can not be allowed, but, on the other hand, the world is not taking note of the cost of rendering such a verdict on willful killing of innocent people. Sudan has reacted by forcing aid agencies to withdraw in hope of making the situation so terrible it would compel the ICC to back off and either, withdraw the warrant, or delay its application. Dr. Philip Ejikon, a Dutch doctor, says with bitterness, “a lot of lives will be lost” because justice is being served. Many aid agencies believe al-Bashir deliberately targeted large aid agencies in order to exert the greatest pressure by making the world confront the possibility of large scale deaths.

There are solutions to issues raised by the issuance of warrants and the response of Sudan. One possible solution is to enforce an air and sea embargo on the movement of anyone in Sudan who tries to leave the nation. This would cause havoc to the Sudan economy and it would not require large numbers of military personnel to enforce such action. Does Barack Obama have the will in the midst of the current economic crisis to take such action? Does the European Union have the courage to take military action against Sudan?

Sudan Leader Dooms Thousands To Death!

Sudan leader Omar Hassan al-Bashir showed his defiance of the International Criminal Court warrant for his arrest by flying into the capital of Darfur to me met by cheering thousands of supporters who undoubtedly were rounded up to show they stood behind their president. His decision to expel some of the largest groups supplying aid to millions of refugees is bound to cause the death of thousands who are trapped in camps because they cannot return home. It is interesting that no prominent Muslim group has stepped up to denounce the actions of Bashir who threw out groups that were feeding and caring for Muslim people. The unwritten rule of Muslims is to denounce any Christian or Jew who commits an act they deem immoral, but to remain silent when Muslim leaders oppressive the innocent.

The assumption of al-Bashir’s action is undoubtedly a show of force since he does not believe any European power or the United States will take action against him. It is unfortunate that President Obama does not join with the European Union in declaring an air embargo of travel from Sudan until the aid organizations are allowed to return. Economic sanctions do not always work, but they might succeed in Sudan with relatively scant use of armed forces.

The bottom line is no one will really do anything to aid the oppressed people of Darfur.

Court Issues Warrant For Sudan President

The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Sudan President Omar al-Beshir for his role in murdering hundreds of thousands of innocent people in Darfur. The defiant ruler of Sudan who seized power 20 years ago is furious at the accusation and refuses to acknowledge any guilt for his actions. The ICC said the arrest warrant cited five counts of crimes against humanity which included: murder, extermination, forcible transfer, torture, rape and two counts of war crimes. Beshir has refused to cooperate with the court over their claim he is responsible for the death of 300,000 people. In his view, the warrant would “not be worth the ink it is written in.”

There is scant likelihood the Sudan president will actually be arrested in the near future. However, a precedent has been established that murder of innocent people can result in being charged in an international court of justice. Perhaps, this is a symbolic victory, but it is the first step on attempting to establish international processes of justice.

Finally An African Leader Speaks About Human Rights!

Among the most serious problems on the African continent is failure on the part of its leaders to take a stand against violations of human rights by other African leaders. They are ready to thunder about colonialism or transgressions on the part of Europeans, but when it comes to thugs like Robert Mugabe or monsters like Sudan President al-Bashir, there is silence because no African leader wishes to break their unofficial vow never to speak ill of an African leader. It was a refreshing surprise to read in The New York Times a blasting column by Nobel Peace prize winner, Desmond Tutu who supports the trial of Sudan’s brutal leader on charges of war crimes against the people of Darfur. Tutu said he was ashamed that so many African leaders had rallied around Bashir. “Because the victims in Sudan are African, African leaders should be the staunchest supporters of efforts to se perpetrators brought to account.”

Instead of standing by those who have suffered, “African leaders have so far rallied behind the man responsible or turning that corner of Africa into a graveyard.”

Tragedy Of Darfur Continues

Every so often the media will decide to devote a few paragraphs or a few photos to the tragedy which unfurls in Darfur almost daily. Over 300,000 are dead, but their deaths have never generated the notice or protests which accompanied recent deaths in Gaza when 1,300 died. The indifference to Darfur can be interpreted as a reflection that Europeans or Americans simply are not that interested in the plight of Africans. In the latest example of Sudan aggressiveness, Sudanese troops took control of still another town and forced even more refugees to flee. The rebel Justice And Equality Movement, (JEM) fled the town, but they undoubtedly will continue fighting in more rural areas.

At least 30 civilians are dead, and more forced to join the 30,000 who have been displaced since January fighting and eventually these people will join the million refugees who now live in camps under UN supervision. UN forces may be in the vicinity of fighting but they tend to maintain a low profile and allow the killing and displacement process to continue.

Sudan Warns Of Bloodshed If Leader Indicted

Sudan’s government warned there would be violence if their president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir is indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court. Bashir has been accused of planning genocide in Darfur which he denies although the evidence is overwhelming that janjaweed forces have killed and raped their way through Darfur. The Sudan government said rebels in Darfur were building up their forces many of which are in Chad in preparation for attacks on Sudan cities and oil fields if Bashir is indicted. A Sudan official argued rebels “will say they are fighting a legitimate cause against a criminal government and a criminal president.”

There is scant need for any rebel group to wait for an indictment against Bashir in order to justify taking up arms against the Bashir regime which doesn’t need any official indictment of war crimes since the world is quite aware of the atrocities it has perpetrated on the people of Darfur.

Sudan Promises Cease Fire–PR Or Reality?

President Omar al-Bashir, who is under indictment for war crimes, called for a unilateral cease fire in the Sudan. He claimed to be initiating a program to disarm the militia and reduce the use of arms in Darfur. “I hereby announce our immediate unconditional ceasefire between the armed forces and warring factions, provided that an effective monitoring mechanism is put into action and observed by all involved parties.” His janjaweed militia has been responsible for the death of hundreds of thousands as well as the rape and brutalization of untold thousands of women, and suddenly Bashir has become a man of peace.

The Sudan president has become frightened at the prospect of being forced to appear before the International Criminal Court for war crimes. He has established the Sudan People’s Forum which includes members of the opposition and this group has recommended releasing political prisoners and paying compensation to the two million people his militia has driven from their homes. It remains to be seen if he is serious.