Daily Archives: March 4, 2009

Gideon Rachman

Human-rights groups will be cheering the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court for President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan. And why not? There have been appalling crimes committed in Darfur – since 2003 some 300,000 people have been killed and over 2m displaced.

This is certainly an active time for the cause of international justice. On Sunday a special tribunal opened in the Hague to investigate the assassination of Rafiq al-Harari, the former Lebanese prime minister. Charles Taylor, the former Liberian dictator, is already on trial in the Hague before a special tribunal on war crimes in Sierra Leone. The case against Thomas Lubanga, a Congolese warlord, is also underway at the ICC. And last month a hybrid UN-Cambodian court began the prosecution of “Duch”, a former Khmer Rouge commander.

But the arrest warrant for al-Bashir is the big one.

Not everybody, however, is convinced that it will serve the cause of either peace or justice. Alex de Waal, an very knowledgable Darfur watcher, has posted a devestating indictment of the ICC case on the “Making Sense of Darfur” blog. Read more