A dictator, a criminal, a divider, a saviour, a victim…

African scepticism alone is instrumental in undermining the ICC.



Published: Thu 18 Jun 2015, 10:29 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 3:15 PM

General Omar Al Bashir greets other Revolutionary Council military officers on July 7, 1989, during a graduation ceremony at the Sudanese Military Academy. Photo: AFP
General Omar Al Bashir greets other Revolutionary Council military officers on July 7, 1989, during a graduation ceremony at the Sudanese Military Academy. Photo: AFP

Omar Al Bashir is the only sitting president with an outstanding arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court.

He is accused of being the mastermind of the genocide in Darfur where Sudanese forces and government-sponsored militias carried out a campaign of attacks against innocent civilians.

On March 4, 2009, the ICC issued an arrest warrant against Bashir for seven counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes. On July 12, 2010 the ICC issued an additional warrant adding 3 counts of genocide for the ethnic cleansing of the Fur, Masalit, and Zaghawa tribes.

Undeterred by his arrest warrants, Bashir continues his reign and has travelled freely to other countries.

Bashir came to power in a coup in 1989, intensifying an ongoing war with the South that led to over two million deaths and the displacement of more than four million people. He also led a brutal battle in the Nuba Mountains in the early 1990s that largely emptied the area of its population and led to the deaths of as many as half a million people. In Darfur, years of abuses by government security forces and government armed militias increase in the early 2000s, setting the stage for genocide.

February 26, 2003 is the date often referred to as the start of the Darfur genocide when Darfuri rebels took up arms and attacked the town of Golo in response to the marginalization of the region’s black African ethnic groups. The Khartoum government and the Janjaweed, an armed tribal militia, responded by enacting and implementing policies of ethnic cleansing against all indigenous Africans Darfur, beginning what would become a genocide. It is believed 300,000 died in the violence.

At least 1.4 million Darfuris remain displaced in addition to some 280,000 living in refugee camps in Chad according to the UN. Other calculations and violence in early 2013 suggest the figures are even higher. Another million have been displaced or severely affected by violence in South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

Source: Bashirwatch, UN


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