The prosecutor at the ICC has requested an arrest warrant for Omar Hassan al-Bashir, accusing the Sudanese president of genocide and crimes against humanity. If the warrant is granted, this will be the first time the ICC has brought charges against an active head of state.
I'll be very interested to see how this unfolds. Unlike the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, which is investigating crimes decades after they occurred, these charges come amid ongoing conflict and human rights abuses. Will this proposed international intervention help diffuse the crisis, or, as some argue, actually worsen the situation in Darfur by sparking a backlash against foreign peacekeepers and those already suffering?
According to a commentary in the Weekly Telegraph, "a prosecution by the court would become little more than a political statement aimed at embarrassing the al-Bashir regime. Regrettably, that regime is beyond embarrassment."
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