Saudi Journalists & So.Sudan Support ICC Arrest Warrant of Bashir
Since the International Criminal Court approved an arrest warrant for the Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir last week, the government had organized several rallies in Khartoum and other cities, launching fiery rhetoric against the Court and its backers. The United Nations Security Council had referred the Al-Bashir case to the International Criminal Court for investigation in March 2005.
Mr. Al-Bashir also expelled 13 international aid agencies and three local non-governmental organizations as a retaliation.
There has been a handful of African nations that applauded the ICC decision. The Arab League has not issued any formal statement regarding the ICC issuance of the warrant arrest of Mr. Omar Al-Bashir last week.
The African Union (AU), however, voiced its support of Mr. Al-Bashir as it opposed the ICC warrant. The AU Commission Chair, Jean Ping had criticized the ICC decision for jeopardizing the peace and reconciliation in Darfur, Sudan.
Mr. Al-Bashir has won support from Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas leaders. Remarkably, however, the Secretary General of the Arab League, Mr. Amr Moussa has been silent on this matter.
A delegation of senior Middle Eastern leaders has traveled to Sudan to express international support for Omar al-Bashir.
Officials from Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah joined Syria's parliament speaker and the leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group for talks with al-Bashir in Khartoum
A number of prominent Saudi columnists and writers have decided to express their opinions in support of the ICC warrant, which is in stark contrast to the popular view in that part of the world, where the charges leveled by International Criminal Court (ICC) against the Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir would be considered as part of a Western conspiracy.
These journalists and editors wrote public statements as they jointly support the ICC decision in case the Arab League might choose to support Mr. Al-Bashir's defiance of the International Criminal Court's decision.
One of the strong voices of support of the ICC warrant was Mr. Abdul-Rahman Al-Rashid, General Manager of the Al- Arabiya television, wrote in an Op-ed entitled, "Where are you heading Mr. President?" in the London based Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper. Mr.. Al-Rashid also thought President Al-Bashir should prove his innocence in Court.
President Omar al Bashir seems to be the only one who failed to understand from the outset how serious an issue Darfur was as the news agencies hastened to transmit reports about it. It seems that he was the only one who failed to believe that there is a court and continued to deny and mock until a resolution was declared for his arrest.
The League of Arab States will not help him as it merely carries out its duties as a mediator. Arab countries are preoccupied with their own concerns and will not lose their negotiating power for the sake of Al-Bashir. The minority of countries that are claiming to lend him support are using him politically at his expense. Finally, he will have to face the accusations with courage or cowardice rather than challenge them.
The Sudanese regime should first admit that it has committed many mistakes and realize that it does not understand the concept of international order otherwise it would not have found itself in this dilemma.
Mr. Tariq Alhomayed, the Editor in Chief of the Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper also criticized Iran's Parliament speaker, Mr. Ali Larijani who supported Mr. Al-Bashir's defiant stance, by issuing a statement over the weekend that the arrest warrant was an insult to the Muslim world.
When Ali Larijani says that the targeting of the Sudanese President is an insult to Muslims, it raises the following questions: aren’t the people, or let us say victims, of Darfur also Muslims? Isn’t it insulting to “Islamic” Iran to approve of this kind of tyranny against the people of Darfur?
And when Hamas defends al Bashir, reminding the Arab leaders of Saddam Hussein’s fate, it raises the following questions: what about Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi victims? What about what he did to Iraq during all those years as ruler until he was found in that infamous pit? What about his Arab victims?
Ms. Badriya Al-Bashar, a Saudi female novelist said in the daily Al-Hayat newspaper that Arabs accept international rulings from The Hague “only if it is in their favor”.
“But if the decision came opposing to what we wished for, we say ‘immerse it in water and drink it’” she added.
Mr. Daoud Al-Shriyan wrote in the same newspaper that Bashir’s decision to expel 13 aid groups as “making it difficult for someone to justify it or sympathize with him”.
He also criticized Bashir’s reception of delegations from Iran, Syria, and Hamas “as if he is adopting their problems with the international community”.
“Solidarity with these groups is no less wrong than preventing the aid groups from working in Darfur” Al-Shriyan said.
It appeared that even the leader of the semi-autonomous South Sudan region had urged Khartoum to reconsider its decision to expel 13 aid agencies. Mr. Salva Kiir said the agencies were welcome to stay in the south.
The major Darfur rebel faction that signed an agreement with the Sudanese government issued a statement today “strongly supporting” the International Criminal Court (ICC) accusation against president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir.
Dr. Khalil Ibrahim, leader of the rebel Justice and Equality Movement group in Darfur, has declared that his movement is politically and militarily willing to confront the threats of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir whose arrest is expected to be demanded by the International Criminal Court [ICC].
In the meantime, an alliance of Sudanese Islamic jihadists and Darfur Arab militia groups have warned Westerners that they planned to carry out attacks against countries supporting the ICC.
The US Embassy has begun sending home non-essential staff as part of a diplomatic snub to Khartoum. Some members of the aid groups and diplomats remaining in Sudan are on high alert amid fears of terrorist attacks.
As reported earlier by NP contributor, Blue Crush, a group of unidentified armed men abducted on Wednesday three foreigners working for the Belgian branch of the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), who were accompanied by two Sudanese, at the Saraf Umra region in North Darfur and took them to an unknown location.
Related Articles on Sudan by this writer and others: The Lead-up to Sudan's Expelling NGOs - United Nations Stalemate
Amy Judd: The UN comes to no agreement on the Sudan crisis and
Darfur fears of crisis as aid agencies leave the region
Rachel Nixon: Sudan's President Defies Arrest Warrant
Rob Walker: Sudan Kicks out Major Aid Groups from Darfur
Blue Crush: Doctors Without Borders Workers Kidnapped in Darfur
Esta: Americans to leave Sudan, US embassy warning and
Sudan's president warns foreigners in Darfur
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