Human Rights

Arrest Bashir?

Uganda is under pressure to arrest Omar el-Bashir,

President of the Assembly of State Parties to the International Criminal Court has insisted that Uganda must arrest Sudan President Omar el-Bashir when he visits the country during the AU summit due in Kampala in July.

In a statement released yesterday to media at the ongoing ICC Review Conference in Kampala, Mr Christian Wenaweser said since Uganda is a party to the Rome Statute, it has to fulfill its mandate as stipulated in the Statute.

“I’m looking forward to seeing a statement from the Ugandan government that is less equivocal than what we have seen over the past few days. What’s important from our perspective is Uganda is a state party to the Rome Statute so it has an obligation to fully cooperate with the provisions of that statute and we would like to see a statement to that affect,”

Mia Farrow is despairing of Obama’s policy on Bashir, although I’m far from confident that anything Obama might do lead to Bashir ending up in front of the ICC.

In their darkest hours and through losses too grievous to fathom, the world has repeatedly abandoned the people of Darfur. Over more than seven years, two American presidents have used the word “genocide” to describe what has unfolded there, but they have done little to end it.

It is past time for us to step up and accept our moral obligation to protect a defenseless people. The American people should urge Mr. Gration and the Obama administration to lead a diplomatic offensive to convince the world to isolate Mr. Bashir as a fugitive from justice, and to wholeheartedly support the only body offering Darfur’s people a measure of authentic justice: the International Criminal Court.

A reminder:

The warrant of arrest for Al Bashir lists seven counts on the basis of his individual criminal responsibility under Article 25(3)(a) of the Rome Statute as an indirect (co) perpetrator including:

• five counts of crimes against humanity: murder – Article 7(1)(a); extermination – Article 7(1)(b); forcible transfer – Article 7(1)(d); torture – Article 7(1)(f); and rape – Article 7(1)(g);

• two counts of war crimes: intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population as such or against individual civilians not taking part in hostilities -Article 8(2)(e)(i); and pillaging – Article 8(2)(e)(v).