Tuesday 17 Jul 2018 | 17:36 | SYDNEY
Tuesday 17 Jul 2018 | 17:36 | SYDNEY

Al-Bashir: From genocide to peace


Fergus Hanson


24 July 2008 10:07

If the Pre-trial chamber of the International Criminal Court decides to issue an arrest warrant for Sudanese President, Omar al-Bashir, it will give international policy makers a few headaches. Should they support a Security Council deferral of the case or support the Court in the work the Security Council ordered it to carry out? The Economist last week came down on the side of deferral, provided it 'add the threat to use force if Sudan refuses to make a deal'. The issue is complicated by the large number of unknowns, most critically, how al-Bashir will react if the Security Council decides to let the Court plough on.

This New York Times report on al-Bashir's uncharacteristically non-confrontational visit to Darfur on Wednesday suggests whatever the pros and cons of deferral, the ICC warrant could prove a helpful tool in coercing the Sudanese President to cooperate with international efforts to end the violence in Darfur. The stick will also be enduring as the ICC's statute makes no provision for completely stopping a case from proceeding, it only allows the Security Council to defer an investigation or prosecution for renewable 12 month periods. For al-Bashir that's bad news, because even if the cycle of UN deferrals begins, eventually, he will fall from power and, once again, become a wanted man.