The Darfur Consortium

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Darfur in the News

U.S. and European media

March 6, 2023

Reuters: Millions endangered by Sudan aid group expulsions-UN agencies. United Nations humanitarian agencies said on Friday Sudan's expulsion of 13 foreign aid organisations threatened the lives and health of millions of people. Sudan announced the expulsion of the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) after the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on Wednesday for atrocities in Sudan's western Darfur region. The "deplorable" move could also be a breach of international humanitarian law, U.N. officials suggested. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on Bashir to reconsider the expulsion, saying the NGOs help 4.7 million people in Africa's biggest country. This includes 2.7 million internally displaced persons (IDPs), or people forced to flee home within the country, most of whom are now in refugee camps. "To knowingly and deliberately deprive such a huge group of civilians of the means to survive is a deplorable act. Humanitarian assistance has nothing to do with the ICC proceedings," U.N. human rights spokesman Rupert Colville said.

The Advocate (Baton Rouge): Darfur native, SU professor, happy at Sudan news. Southern University Professor Mahmoud Braima woke up before 6 a.m. Wednesday to watch the news on television. The early wakeup was worth it when he caught the news he was expecting. The International Criminal Court at The Hague issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. Braima, who left Darfur in the 1970s to attend college in Saudi Arabia, is the chairman of the mass communication department at Southern University and president of the Darfur Association in the USA. "I think the arrest warrant is a symbol. It signals the end of the catastrophic events in Darfur and it's probably the final chapter," Braima said Wednesday morning. Braima said it doesn't mean the violence in the African nation will stop right away or that al-Bashir will be arrested. But, Braima said, it should mark the beginning of the end.

The following editorial appeared in today's Los Angeles Times. 

Justice for Darfur

Sudanese President Omar Hassan Ahmed Bashir has responded to the International Criminal Court's warrant for his arrest on charges of war crimes by retaliating against the civilians of Darfur. He ordered the expulsion of 13 international agencies that provide food, water and medical care to more than 4 million Darfuris, offering yet another reason to bring him to justice.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the expulsions would cause "irrevocable damage to humanitarian operations," provoking a new tragedy for people who already have suffered mass murder, rape and torture. At least 300,000 people have died in Darfur in the fighting between ethnic African rebels and Arab militiamen working for the Khartoum government, and 2.7 million have been driven out of their homes. Arguing that peace is more urgent than justice, some African and Arab leaders have criticized the ICC's decision to issue the warrant now, saying it will destabilize the region and jeopardize an already shaky deal to end the civil war between northern and southern Sudan. This is a false argument; impunity only begets more violence. Their criticism should be directed at Bashir, not at the court.

The U.N. Security Council asked the court to investigate crimes in Darfur in the first place, and has the power to defer the warrant. China, which is a member of the council and buys two-thirds of Sudan's oil exports, supports that idea. But it would be a mistake. Legal proceedings in the court should not be held up for political purposes. The international community should stand behind the court's action and press the government of Sudan to stop its collective punishment of Darfuris and fulfill its obligations under the 2005 peace agreement. The Sudanese government is obliged under international law to protect its citizens. World leaders should be pressing Bashir to allow relief in and to prevent further atrocities.

It is unlikely that Bashir will be handed over to international authorities any time soon. The United Nations has no police force to implement the court decision, and Bashir's cohorts in Sudan aren't expected to turn him in. Nonetheless, the warrant sends an important message that even sitting heads of state cannot act with impunity. It says that, just like former presidents Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia and Charles Taylor of Liberia, one day Bashir will appear in a court of law to answer for atrocities. Bashir calls the warrant further evidence of "colonialism." We call it rule of law.

The Darfur Daily News is a service of the Save Darfur Coalition. To subscribe to the Daily News, please email [email protected]. For media inquiries, please contact Ashley Roberts at (202) 478-6181, or [email protected].



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