The Dog That Didn’t Bark: The curious silence of the UN Security Council on Omar Hassan Ahmad Al-Bashir

The Dog That Didn’t Bark[1]

by Neha Bhat

In March 2005, the UN Security Council (UNSC) referred the Darfur ‘situation’ to the International Criminal Court (ICC), making it the first referral of its kind. UNSC Resolution 1593 was adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter with 11 votes in favor,[2] and 4 abstentions.[3] The Resolution was hailed as a major step towards strengthening the fight against impunity for the ‘crimes against humanity’ committed in Darfur against the indigenous Fur, Zaghawa and Massalit tribes.

Pursuant to Resolution 1593, the ICC opened preliminary investigations into the Darfur ‘situation’ and on July 14, 2008, then ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo filed an application for issuance of warrant of arrest for Omar Hassan Ahmad Al-Bashir (Al-Bashir), the sitting President of Sudan, before the Pre-Trial Chamber I (PTC I). The first warrant of arrest against Al-Bashir was issued by the PTC I on March 4, 2009 covering murder, torture, rape, and intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population. On a subsequent application filed by the Prosecutor’s Office, a second warrant of arrest against Al-Bashir was issued by the PTC I on July 12, 2010 on three counts of genocide.

Image Courtesy: International Justice ProjectRead More »

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Al-Bashir, and Cursus Curiae of the ICC and South African Supreme Court.

By Sujoy Sur

South African executive’s open defiance of its Supreme Court’s order to arrest Omar Hasan Ahmad Al-Bashir is an issue which had attracted a great many concerns from many corners of the international arena, and rightly so. The concern is that Mr. Al-Bashir is an international criminal and South Africa, a country which  has signed the Rome Statute (ICC) and is a committed actor to international peace and security (member of UNSC and UN Charter), should have have acted in accordance with International law. Instead, South Africa invited Al-Bashir to the African Union summit and allowed him to leave the country despite the Court’s order.

Background

Omar Al-Bashir is the president of Sudan. Yes, the same country which got divided into two, into a new South Sudan, which went on to become the 193rd member of the UN General Assembly (UNGA). A referendum was held in January, 2011 in which majority of the population (99.83%) people voted for a South Sudan. The reason for it’s independence, so to speak, are intertwined with that Al-Bashir’s indictment. South Sudan was deeply affected by Civil Wars which had torn the region apart. The first Sudanese civil war lasted from 1955-1972, the improper culmination of which lead to a second Sudanese civil war from 1983-2005. Many atrocities were committed during this period, out of which Omar Al-Bashir was held “individually criminally responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes” committed in Darfur, since 2003. Allegations were pitched against Al-Bashir formally by the Chief Prosecutor of ICC, Luis Moreno Ocampo, in July 2008. An arrest warrant was issued against him by a Pre-Trial chamber composed of judges Akua Kuenyehia of Ghana, Anita Usacka of Latvia, and Sylvia Stenier of Brazil indicting him on five counts of crimes against humanity (murder, extermination, forcible transfer, torture and rape) and two counts of war crimes (pillaging and intentionally directing attacks against civilians).Read More »