By Niklas Jakobsson
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has been the talk of the town over the last few days for a number of reasons. The ICC-indicted leader of Sudan not only went to elections unopposed, he also decided to travel outside of Africa and the Middle East for the first time in four years.
Having held the reign in Sudan for 25 years, al-Bashir decided to stay on for a bit longer and announced his campaign for reelection earlier this year. The elections kicked off last Monday but voting turnout was as low as 15 percent, which led to some unexpected developments.
While his status as head of state doesn’t look like it’ll change in the near future, consistent calls for his arrest are being made around the world. The online account Bashir Watch, which has been set up to support the ICC’s warrant for the Sudanese president, again made the public aware of Bashir’s travel plans and called out for Indonesia to take action.
“Even though Indonesia is not a state party to the Rome Statute, non-member states are still encouraged to bring international fugitives to justice. The situation in Darfur was referred to the International Criminal Court by the UN Security Council (UNSC) and the UNSC Resolution 1593 (2005) which urges all members of the United Nations to fully cooperate with the court. The 31st of March 2015 will mark 10 years since this referral. As a member of the United Nations, Indonesia is obligated to act and bring Bashir to justice.”
While the visit to Indonesia has been planned for quite a while, people were arguably still hopeful that Indonesia would at some point withdraw the invitation. Instead, calls started coming out for Indonesia to take action on behalf of the international community.
If Indonesia doesn’t detain al-Bashir, there might be a different way to get justice and reparations for the victims.
The ongoing Bashir watch from the ICC will most likely continue throughout this year and beyond as there are no indications that al-Bashir will leave his place as the head of Sudan.
- What else can be done to detain al-Bashir?
- Has the UNSC done everything possible to assist the ICC?
Lead image: Fadi Abou Hassan works for Cartoon Movement.
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