Saturday, April 11, 2009

Dead man walking

By Yilma Bekele

"Why, O my friends, did ye so often puff me up, telling me that I was fortunate? For he that is fallen low did never firmly stand."
— Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy

When the prison guard shouts: Dead man walking! You step aside. The guard is warning people that the inmate walking by is on death row and he has nothing to lose by killing you. You just step out of the way and let the dead man keep his date with destiny.

The President of Sudan General Bashir is a dead man walking. He has a date with the International Criminal Court (ICC). A year ago ICC warned the General that his actions in Darfur were a cause for concern. Human Right watch put him on notice. Amnesty international said Al bashir was abusing his authority.

General Bashir was intoxicated with power. The General with the brain of a foot solder was not in any mood to listen to reason. He told his army full speed ahead. Scorched-earth policy of raping, killing and destroying villages was in effect. Why would he listen to a bunch of ‘liars’ bent in tarnishing his image?

He has friends. He is famous. He is the president of Sudan. He doesn’t have to listen to anybody. He has always said the western colonialists are out to get him. So what if they complain? General bashir is smart. Now that he has oil, he is rich too. They want his oil and those greedy westerners will not lift a finger against him. Especially since his newfound friends the Chinese are not concerned with such trivia as Darfur or human right he is safe. That is right he will play his Chinese hand no one will touch him. Not to mention that he is also surrounded with good honorable friends. No one can ask for better criminal neighbors than Eritrea, Ethiopia, Egypt and Libya.

So ICC in its slow and deliberative process went ahead gathering information, interviewing victims and buttressing the case. There was no hysteria here. ICC knew this process couldn’t be hurried. Accusing someone of genocide, torture, and human rights abuse is a grave matter. Warning shots were fired for those who can hear. Close friends of the tyrant were briefed. The media was kept in the loop. Al Bashir due to his unsurpassed ability to bully the Sudanese people was not to be bothered by some prosecutor in far away Europe.

The African Union and fellow tyrants were recruited to warn the ICC of the dire consequences if an indictment was returned. Delegates were sent to European capitals to explain how democracy works in Africa. The Ethiopian Foreign Minster appealed to Turkey to stop this process. It was said that Africans have their own solution and it cannot be hurried. In the mean time Al Bashir kept busy by denying the scope of his crimes, accusing the court of lack of jurisdiction and insulting the prosecutor as unrepentant colonialist hell bent on interfering in the internal affairs of Sudan. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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