AFRICANS UNITE AGAINST PRESIDENT BASHIR


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‘Africans unite…’ a popular tune from legendary Jamacian reggae maestro and revolutionary blared from speakers in a commercial bus in Lagos-Nigeria’s commercial hub. ‘We are the children of I-and-I…’ the song played on perhaps also in Khartoum and Tripoli

On the eve of the ICC sitting on whether a warrant should be issued for his arrest, Sudan’s president danced and told a large throng of his acolytes that the ICC could toss its planned indictment into the waste bin saying it wasn’t worth more than the ink it would be penned in. 2 hours after his indictment, President Bashir was still basking in the euphoric aura of a tin God, though the rhetoric had changed from I-don’t -care to the-west-hates-me.  Isolated billowing smoke from several burning effigies of Mr. Luis Moreno Ocampo and any paraphernalia representing the West were complimented by vociferous shouts of “ we love you Bashir” from a huge crowd that had gathered in support of the indicted President. bashir1

In contrast, over the seas, at 15 hrs (CAT) at the pre-trial room 1 of the International Court of Justice, the Hague-the courts 5 judges were unanimous in their indictment of President Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir. The celebrants this time were a different group-civil right groups, the west and off course Sudanese in exile. On 5 counts of crimes against humanity-extermination, rape, murder, forcibly transferring large number of civilians, torture and two counts of war crimes-intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population, pillaging, President Bashir joins the likes of Charles Taylor, Johnny Paul Koroma, etc

Damning charges if convicted could mean that Bashir spends more than 3 times his tenure as leader of Africa’s largest country behind bars. However Bashir had been given a long rope-when an ill equipped rag tag African union force was drafted to quell the crisis, 4 years ago, Bashir stalled and dithered-until the dead clambered to over 200,000 and the displaced 10 times that number. Even the peace keepers were made to lick their wounds when they caught in Janjaweed cross-fire in 2007- for over 12 hours they were bowdlerized-leaving 12 peacekeepers dead and the same number wounded. Bishop Desmond who led the enquiry team following the attack was dumbfounded at what he saw at the AU outpost-saying he couldn’t understand why it took more than half a day for an ambulance to get to the wounded. President Bashir promised go down hard on the culprits; hardness and pain instead he meted to the Darfurians- as he forcefully moved them from town to camp; refugee camps where most of Bashir’s 7 cardinal sins were committed

President Bashir is perhaps the major reason why less than half of approved UN-AU peacekeepers to the embattled Darfur region are yet to be deployed. In a counter-insurgency move against protesting Darfurian groups which went absurdly wrong,the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa groups have paid the biggest prizes for being too close to the protesting Darfurian groups-JEM and SLM. The ICC labels Bashir as the main component in a high powered plan to punish and squelch the ethnic groups. So again and again the indigenes of these towns were marked for mass killings

Bashir also shot himself in the foot when he failed to hand over two indicted war criminals-Ahmad Haroun andAli Kushayb to the ICC-both men are currently ministers in his government

Lauren Blairon, spokesperson for the ICC, further asked all countries signatory to its Rome statute-resolution 1593 to carry-out the arrest. With this indictment if President Bashir steps one foot outside the borders of Sudan he can be arrested-a very unlikely development in Africa but tricky outside the continent. Later this month President Bashir will test the waters when he goes to Qatar for the Arab league summit. Bob Marley could be dead-right; Africans could unite for once- this time against injustice and wickedness and not the plain blind-following into a diversionary black hole the AU president and Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, seeks to pull the rest of Africa into.

aghogho, CONNECTAFRICA

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