Friday, March 20, 2009

Time for justice in Darfur

For the first time in history, an arrest warrant has been issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for an acting Head of State. On March 4, President Omar al Bashir of Sudan was charged with seven counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur.

Congratulations world. We finally acknowledged that a man who has orchestrated the genocide of more than 300,000 people and the displacement of nearly 2.7 million people should be punished. But this begs the question: who is going to arrest him? And more importantly, who will bring peace to Darfur? With no Jack Bauer-led ICC police force in existence, the responsibility falls to a motley crew called the African Union/United Nations Hybrid operation in Darfur (known as UNAMID). However, only with a more robust mandate, more troops and better co-ordination with aid organizations could they possibly become Darfur’s saviour.

Unfortunately, due to the overriding right to sovereignty, foreign forces can only enter Sudan with permission from the criminal in question or by military invasion endorsed by the UN Security Council. Considering Sudan has a 394,250 member army supported by 95,000 reserve troops, not to mention tanks, fighter jets and helicopters kindly supplied by China in exchange for oil and influence, I doubt anyone currently has the balls to try. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>

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