Since the International Criminal Court's (ICC) prosecutor asked for an arrest warrant for President Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan a few days ago, there haven't been many big reactions in the Sudanese blogosphere (although we covered reactions of several bloggers elsewhere in Africa in this roundup). Activity in the Sudanese blogosphere is at an all time low. However, the Sudanese debate has been alive and full of passion on Facebook.
Reactions from Sudanese bloggers
Three Sudanese bloggers, Ras Babi, The Sudanese Thinker (disclosure: it's me), and Black Kush, have been among the few that commented on the matter.
Black Kush rolled out a sequence of posts on the issue as it progressed where he wrote the following:
SO Bashir has been indicted by the ICC. So what comes next now?
The ICC prosecutor has taken the boldest step ever. Charging a sitting head of state fo genocide can get him a round of applause,but that is leaving lots of people wary of the future.
So far the armageddon predicted has not happened, yet. No UN staff has been shot in the street and no car-jackings reported in Khartoum. Were the fears groundless?
Not at all. There are lots of people out there in the street who are stupid enough to start anything. It may not be the official response of the government, but some lunatics may take the lawlessness into their hands and rick havoc.
I personally think it was a wrong move on the part of the ICC. Now that he has made his point, I think UN Security Council should suspend the possible arrest warrant from being issued.
Ras Babi, as he usually does, wrote a short poem:
is it true?
the Arabs support you…
is it true?
some Sudanese stand with you….
Hitler had his fans
Franco had his fans
it is true…
they have gone
China will sell you
Russia became like you
too bad too trust
you brought to us
Russians and Chinese
polluting our land
stealing our resources
Sudanese Thinker published his analysis and shared two photos he found in a very active Sudanese Facebook group discussing the ICC's decision, which he thought summed up the extremes of Sudanese opinion on the matter rather well -from rational debate to rejecting responsibility and conspiracy theories.
Reactions from Sudanese Facebookers
The aforementioned Facebook group where the most heated discussions are taking place is called:
“معا ضد المحكمة الجنائية الدولية . فلنتحد لنصرة الرئيس عمر البشير” (translation: “Together Against the ICC. Let’s Unite for President Omar al-Bashir’s Victory”)
The group was started by a Sudanese and currently has over 2,700 members, virtually all Sudanese as well. While a sizable number of the members oppose the Sudanese regime, the group clearly leans on the side of condemning the ICC's decision. The following are some random quotes from a thread representing the diverse opinions in the group fairly well.
Did people forget that Al-Bashir took power by force, that he executed and murdered countless Sudanese, that under his watch Millions of Sudanese died in warfare and from extreme poverty, that he and his cronies dragged the name of Sudan to the gutter that today it's on every tongue as a terrorist sponsoring nation?
Wake up ya Sudanese… AlBashir is a criminal and it's about time that he is cornered!
He deserves worse than international court. He deserves Allah's Justice. Where he would face soon in his grave
… I am with the international court if it can at least achieve the goal of embarassing him internationally.
You know nothing…..and u will be the first people to cry…..shut up
… Admin please kick them out
Believe me, you will be the one to CRY, and I will remind you there INSHA ALLAH. Someone like you who is that blind, would be the one to CRY.
Why should we be kicked out? We have not used profanity nor have we insulted only one. We have expressed nothing but the truth… why are you so afraid of the truth!?!
… and sorry we will not shut up, I thought AlBashir is implementing democracy now in Sudan, so you are obliged to listen to our point of view :)
first of allll ya Gino and Khadega no hard feelings but am replying to this topic with all due respect to both of you guys! stating my opinion…ok? alright….I really am surprised that it came down to this and that the ICC finally found a way to try to get to sudan! I dont’ noe about u guys but it almost seems like a plan to take down allllllll muslim countries and not only that but also stop the ones that are somewhat prosporing from moving forward and excelling! its kind of ironic…none the less, al bashir did everything to stand behind sudan and suport it ..he made sudan one of the VERY FEW countries that are not bowing dowing and kissin the feet of the US or the UN
Man f*ck u and f*ck ur sick cheap sneaky disloyal thoughts too…
Khaled M. Khaled:
heeeey yasir dont flip out. it ain't worth it.every one has the right to express his own opinion.
Its so sad for me to see my fellow Sudanese rip each other off..even if we are against ElBashir political views how can you support US taking over our country??
Sara Ibrahim Haddad:
ok, people are really angering me right now….with all this “AMERICA WILL INVADE”
so stop bringing up america because u want someone to blame because u dont want to hold accountable the REAL people to blame!!
Bashier is a devil!! shaytan!!! along with other african corrupted leaders…sudan's image is tarnished globally…..and we have people agreeing with bashier??! are u crazy? OR ARE U JUST SCARED OF HIM?
Moreover, it is a positive sign to see Sudanese flocking to Facebook – not so much the blogosphere – to express their opinions freely and without authoritarian restrictions.
The most interesting thing on the Face book debate was that International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Moreno was on-line to debate!
Al Basheer & Co should take note
SudaneseDrima, thanks for the post. A question: do you really think people feel safer on Facebook? Aren’t their comments linked to their personal profiles?
It’s so sad for me to see my fellow Sudanese rip each other off even if we are against ElBashir political views how can you support US taking over our country?
Hi Solana, it is not a matter of safety in this case really. Most of the vocal critics of the Sudanese government in that Facebook group live overseas in the Gulf, Canada or the United States. A small few of the critics live in Sudan and are active in opposition political parties (I recognized these peoples’ names immediately) and hence are dedicated regardless of the risks (which frankly speaking have decreased a little since the government now pays more attention not to those who merely “talk”, but those who “walk” and are actually producing results).
I think Sudanese tend to be attracted to Facebook more than blogging because:
1- It’s fun and it doesn’t seem like “hard work.”
2- Most are still unaware about what blogging really is and don’t understand well the better benefits.
3- Blogging can indeed be hard work in terms of marketing. You blog and blog but no one reads you. At least in Facebook groups, marketing your words is not an issue as it is in blogging. Plus you get immediate interaction and immediate feedback.
No wonder the Sudanese blogosphere is close to being dead right now. I’m going to put in more time into reviving it and helping it grow like previously. Lately, I’ve been lacking in that very important area. Blogging and Facebook groups can be very strong compliments to one another.
I love how many Sudanese believe in the American/Israeli conspiracy.
But on a serious note, what many Sudanese diaspora and vocal anti-bashir foreigners don’t realize, is that if Bashir and Co. suddenly disappear or are removed by force a sizable power vacuum is going to be created. And that’s not a situation a fragmented country like Sudan wants to be in!
Can you imagine the anarchy…imagine Somalia on a larger scale!
O.K. Drima, Kizzie and the ST are onstage at my place and at the African Loft. Been waiting on something like this to happen for a very long time, too long if you ask me. I hope that the ICC judges reviewing the charges backup their boy Luis Moreno-Ocampo with a full court press. If it goes back to the UNSC for “approval” it will be the Kiss of Death for Sudan (from China and Russia with love).
If you’ve got the time please stop by and share your views with us. We would be honored, really.
im not a supporter of bashirs polices starting from the civil war till know of the china time and taking our resourses and for what cheap.but i have to say if the guy is going down why didnt the court gave warrent to arrest george w.bush or olmert there is corruption inside the court.where was america during civil war why didnt they take bashir to court and what about olmert even the israeli police want to arrest him they know he s corrupted.im saying this loud and clear america goes around the world and saying democracy look at their lie when they presured mubark egypts president to allow all parties to enter parlimentary election including the islamic brother hood .however when they realised the ilamic brother hood is against america they told mubark to not allow them to win the elections,uncle sam it seems that your democracy is unfair and tailored by u and your leaders conspircy.just how dare the court want the sudanese president if u want him get the israeli president and bush first and say something senseable.sice dam china enter with sudan in deals america got afried china is invading the world economically i feel angry that all these people and the goverment that they dont have morals.maybe thats whyamerica is facing an economic crisis as allah is punishing them .i dont even think UN has a justifiable existance.and all u people who said it would be good that bashir would be going to court means u didnt look at long term effects the country would be like somalia anrchy and mess and more genocides.plz all of u think before u write a nive answer or even ask a nieve question
Very interesting indeed. Some of the people tend to agree they are opposed to Al Bashir’s crimes which UNSC cays are serious and threaten insternational security,yet they do not want the man to face the full force of law. One reason given is that Sudan will break up, as if it has ever been one country! Do weneed to worry of a unity which had brought more suffering and egony to the peoples of Sudan?
Another reason is that there the warrant of arrest for Bashir will provoke the jin in his and this will send him mad: he will fight back and we will lose stability, CPA, deemotracy etc. This line of reasoning is confirming that Bashir belong to jail, not to the Presidential palace. We can not be taken hostages because of the jin in him.