The indictment of Sudanese President Omar Al- Bashir has created a major crevice between those crying for international justice and those who fear to face it. It was a landmark move as it was issued against a sitting President.
When the warrant was issued, millions of people were thrilled at the indictment while an equal number (maybe more) frowned. The African Union whose most leaders are in the same league with Bashir rushed to his defence. More so, not for love but for their own protection – they don’t want to be hauled to some country and caged for their living life.
The varying reactions to the impeachment have tainted the credibility and impartiality of the ICC which is considered a Big Brother against impunity and international justice.
I would like to make a proposition that would, hopefully, restore the ICC’s credibility.
Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo should open up a case against the immediate former US President George W. Bush for crimes against humanity for the Iraq war anad the infamous Guantanamo Bay detention camp. Already, there is a campaign by Americans to have Bush arrested and charged for invading Iraq and lying to his people. So, if the Americans are urging the world to arrest their former leader, why is Moreno-Ocampo not moving with gusto and at least file charges against Bush?
If the ICC is really keen on bringing criminals to justice, why is Bush enjoying his retirement in peace and not facing a probe for war crimes he had committed in Iraq? I’m posing this question based on his own admission that his decision to invade the country was based on false information.
I cannot understand why the West is so enthusiastic about bringing President Bashir to account, while other “Bashirs" commit their crimes and go unpunished. How many western leaders have been indicted since establishment of the ICC? Are those who hail from the West or pro-West States special that they cannot face the international law?
Another question that begs answers is whether Bashir’s indictment would provide a solution to the massacre in Darfur. Already we have seen an escalating humanitarian crisis following the eviction of Non-Governmental Organisations.
I do not hold any brief for Bashir and believe he should be made to account if indeed he is responsible for crimes against humanity.
Bashir’s defiance should tell Moreno-Ocampo that his efforts remain inconsequential as the man continues to traverse the region. He has recently visited Eritrea, Egypt, Ethiopia and Libya.
Indict Mr Bush first Mr Moreno-Ocampo then the world would embrace you, my friend.
Until then impunity will continue to thrive.