Arabeyes: Any Legal Foundations for Al Bashir's Indictment?

Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno-Ocampo, has accused Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al Bashir of bearing criminal responsibility for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes committed in the Darfur region since 2003.

Rebekah Heacock reported on the case. The potential case has proved controversial in the blogosphere, with reactions from Sudan, Bahrain and elsewhere cropping up on Global Voices Online's radar. Today, we take a look at reactions from the Middle East and North Africa.

Jordanian blogger The Black Iris, responding to comments that the ICC's move undermined Sudan's sovereignty, said:

Maybe leaders all over the world should be frightened. I mean, after all, the ICC is an objective and legitimate court and their pursuit for justice is universal. Hence, it’s only a matter of time before they issue warrants for other known war criminals and I’d imagine that at the top of that list, President Bush, Tony Blair, Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney would all be invited to see the inside of the The Hague.

I wonder what the criteria is.

Is it the body count?

From Bahrain, Mahmood's Den is also interested in the criteria:

Albasheer’s head is sought by the ICC but the effervescent and wholly useful Arab League and the similarly described African Union won’t have that – and we know why don’t we? Any one of their members could be earmarked next!

Lebanese Les Politiques introduces a link to an interview [fr] with Roland Marchal, saying:

For Roland Marchal, researcher in political science in France, the recent ICC case against sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir has no legal foundations and is going to delay peace efforts in Sudan, exacerbate the current tensions, and embolden the rebellion.

Ali Alarabi, writing for Mideast Youth, is also concerned with the legality of such an indictment:

Indeed there are legal questions with the regards to the legality of the indictment and a possible international arrest warrant against President Bashir and whether president Bashir is entitled to an immunity or not. In light of the fact that Sudan is not a signatory to the Roma Statute that established the Criminal Court makes this case a very complicated legal case that opens the question whether this statute can only bind states that are party to it and not others who are not such as the United Sates, and whether the security council resolution 1593 that refers the case to the Court did or can imply the removal of immunity of a sitting head of state or not.

Aside form the humanitarian crises that arose out of this conflict, we must not forget that Sudan, the state, is entitled to preserve its geographical integrity and prevent any party domestic or international from break the country up through armed struggle.

The blogger then concludes that, regardless of the indictment, Sudan's president has certain responsibilities:

That said however, President Bashir should do more to help his country to come out of this ugly war and bring Darfur and its tribes back to the fold of Sudan on equal footing with peaceful resolution to this tragic conflict. But with this indictment, the international community is exasperating the problem and complicates matters even worse especially for all of the innocent victims in Sudan.

1 comment

  • amani bengawi

    agree with the existing goverment in sudan or not , we are against the double standard measures by which governments or presidents being accused.The crimes against humanity israil committed in gaza is astrong example of the double standard. we have to struggle to have afair and just world where all countries , all people are equal.

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.