Sudan’s long serving “Dictator” Omar Al-Bashir has been overthrown ny the Army. But did you know that he is still wanted by the International Criminal Court?
The first warrant for arrest for Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir was issued on 4 March 2009, the second on 12 July 2010. The suspect is still at large.
In issuing the warrant, Pre-Trial Chamber I stated that there are reasonable grounds to believe that:
From March, 2003 to at least 14 July 2008, a protracted armed conflict not of an international character existed in Darfur between the Government of Sudan (GoS) and several organised armed groups, in particular the Sudanese Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM).
Soon after the April, 2003 attack on the El Fasher airport, Omar Al Bashir and other high-ranking Sudanese political and military leaders of the GoS agreed upon a common plan to carry out a counter-insurgency campaign against the SLM/A, the JEM and other armed groups opposing the Government of Sudan in Darfur.
A core component of that campaign was the unlawful attack on part of the civilian population of Darfur – belonging largely to the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa groups – who were perceived to be close to the organised armed groups opposing the Government of Sudan in Darfur.
The campaign was conducted through GoS forces, including the Sudanese Armed Forces and their allied Janjaweed militia, the Sudanese Police Forces, the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) and the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC).
It lasted at least until the date of the filing of the Prosecution Application on 14 July 2008.
During the campaign, GoS forces allegedly committed crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crimes of genocide, and in particular:
carried out numerous unlawful attacks, followed by systematic acts of pillage, on towns and villages, mainly inhabited by civilians belonging to the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa groups;
subjected thousands of civilians – belonging primarily to the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa groups – to acts of murder, as well as to acts of extermination;
subjected thousands of civilian women – belonging primarily to the said groups – to acts of rape;
subjected hundreds of thousands of civilians – belonging primarily to the said groups – to acts of forcible transfer;
subjected civilians – belonging primarily to the said groups – to acts of torture; and
contamined the wells and water pumps of the towns and villages primarily inhabited by members of the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa groups that they attacked; and encouraged members of other tribes, which were allied with the GoS, to resettle in the villages and lands previously mainly inhabited by members of the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa groups.
Pre-Trial Chamber I also found that there are reasonable grounds to believe that:
Omar Al Bashir, as the de jure and de facto President of the State of Sudan and Commander-in-Chief of the Sudanese Armed Forces at all times relevant to the Prosecution Application, played an essential role in coordinating the design and implementation of the common plan;
and, in the alternative, that Omar Al Bashir also:
played a role that went beyond coordinating the implementation of the said GoS counter-insurgency campaign;
was in full control of all branches of the “apparatus” of the State of Sudan, including the Sudanese Armed Forces and their allied Janjaweed militia, the Sudanese Police Forces, the NISS and the HAC; and
used such control to secure the implementation of the said GoS counter-insurgency campaign.
Pre-Trial Chamber I found that there are reasonable grounds to believe that Omar Al Bashir acted with specific intent to destroy in part the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups.