Sunday, July 25, 2010

Chad fails to execute Arrest Warrant against Omar al-Bashir

The President of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, in a show of defiance, visited Chad and walked free, despite a standing arrest warrant against him, issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the Hague. The President is suspected of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Darfur. In March 2009, the ICC issued an arrest warrant against President al-Bashir, for war crimes and crimes against humanity, and on 12 July 2010, the court, in line with Article 58(6) of the Rome Statute, modified the arrest warrant, adding genocide to list of hideous crimes allegedly committed by al-Bashir in Darfur. Less than two weeks after the second arrest warrant was issued, President al-Bashir made a controversial official visit to neighboring Chad, ignoring an international call for his arrest upon arrival in Chad.

On Thursday 22 July 2010, Omar al-Bashir arrived Chad on an official visit and walked free, as the government of Chad failed to execute the arrest warrant against the visiting Head of State.

It is worth mentioning that prior to the visit, human rights groups called on the government of Chad - a Member State of the ICC - to arrest Omar al-Bashir in line with its obligation under the Rome Statute, but the unprecedented calls to arrest the most-wanted Head of State, Omar al-Bashir, fell on deft ears.

No doubt, Chad has gone down in history as the first Member State of the ICC to fail to fulfil its duty under Article 59(1) and Part IX of the Rome Statute. The government of Chad failed to execute an arrest warrant issued by the court, and to comply with a request to cooperate with the court to bring al-Bashir to the Hague to face trial for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. 

There are fears that the arrest of President al-Bashir in Chad would distabilized the fragile peace in the region. Until recently Chad accused Sudan for harboring rebels that threaten its peace, and Sudan, on the other hand, accused Chad for supporting rebel groups that mastermind the conflict in Darfur - a conflict that, according to the UN, has claimed 300,000 lives.

Now that Chad has failed to execute an arrest warrant issued by the ICC against Omar al-Bashir, one question remains unanswered: Does the ICC have what it takes to bring suspects of international crimes to justice?

Of course, with a well written statute, the ICC has what it takes to bring perpetrators of the most hideous crimes against humanity to justice, but the statute can only be executed with unconditional international cooperation. Chad's failure to cooperate with the ICC goes a long way to embolden perpetrators of crimes that fall within the jurisdiction of the court.

*Photo: Wikipedia.

1 comment:

  1. Of course I do not condone such crimes, because whosoever falls foul of law has to be pubished. Reluctance on the part of Chadian authorities has probably to do with a badly oriented "solidarity". Inasmuch as many African "dicators" are potentially triable before such courts, they fear reprisals/reciprocity when their turn comes.Obviously this is bad policy and an incentive for others to continue in their heinous agenda.

    Nevertheless, the recurrent "double standards" we oberve of the international community is strinking enough for some to proceed with caution. One would have expected other "western" leaders to be questioned on their past policies, not only in their home countries...but especially abroad, causing millions of deaths. But many of these countries have refused until now to sign, and for those who did to ratify, the Rome Convention. What then is the proper definition of "crime against humanity" and other "war crimes" is rather what we are now faced to deal with...Qualification is also one of the challenges.

    But, like I said earlier, I do not condone crimes from anyone, be it an African leader.


Search this Blog

Related Posts with Thumbnails