July 15, 2008

Kenyan Paper Says Al-Bashir’s Indictment Key to Ending Darfur Killings

Text of editorial report entitled: "Bashir deserves censure" published by Kenyan privately-owned newspaper Daily Nation website on 15 July

The indictment issued against Sudan's President Hasan al-Bashir by the International Criminal Court [ICC] is the single most important development in the long struggle to end the mass slaughter in the Darfur [Western Sudan]

The threat of arrest and trial for crimes against humanity should send a very strong message to leaders everywhere who have no regard for the sanctity of human life.

More than a half million people have been killed over the last six years in Darfur.

Sudan has defied all international attempts to halt the carnage, and the country's president now faces the ultimate sanction.

Opinion, however, is bound to be divided over whether the ICC move might be an impediment to ongoing efforts to negotiate a settlement in Darfur.

As long as President Al-Bashir is in power, then his involvement will be crucial in the negotiations. There will also be questions over whether the ICC might be employing double-standards.

President Al-Bashir may well be complicit in the genocide, but in the African Union and other international forums, he sits alongside others who have as much blood on their hands.

All the same, the dramatic indictment should make many leaders cross the world on notice. And this must include not just Third World dictators, but also leaders in the developed West who reserve for themselves the right to send armies across the world.

American forces in Iraq have been accused of activities verging on war crimes. There will be some who think President [George] Bush should also be in the dock.

Originally published by Daily Nation website, Nairobi, in English 15 Jul 08.

(c) 2008 BBC Monitoring Africa. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.