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.

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