Wednesday, March 04, 2009

 

Form over Substance Justice

I yield to no one in my utter disdain for the pretense that is the International Criminal Court (ICC). Well over two years ago (November 2006), this wannabe Court was all atwitter with excitement:

“The International Criminal Court has found sufficient evidence to identify the perpetrators of some of the worst atrocities in Sudan's Darfur region, and the probe offers "reasonable grounds to believe" that crimes against humanity were committed, chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo told the annual meeting of the court's member states in The Hague.” World Court Official Reports Evidence on Darfur Criminals

It took them almost a year and a half just to be able to identify who the bad guys were although, because the investigation wasn’t quite complete, no names were released. Well a pit bull has got nothing on chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo who has been on this case from the beginning (June 2005). In July 2008, he “presented evidence alleging that Sudanese President, Omar Hassan Ahmad AL BASHIR committed the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur.” Perhaps the Court is overwhelmed with the 4 cases it’s working but it wasn’t until today that International Court Issues Warrant for Sudanese President .

Yep – years of unspeakable horrors by government personnel to fellow countrymen were somehow traced back to the country’s president. Not sure anyone saw that one coming.

So, just how significant is this move? (I mean beyond Sudan’s immediate “…expulsion of as many as 10 humanitarian aid agencies from Darfur, including OxFam, Mercy Corps and Solidarites, the main suppliers of such vital essentials as food, medicine, sanitation and health care in northern Darfur”.) Well, we have a bit of a roadmap we can check as the ICC previously issued warrants for 5 people for their roles in the Ugandan atrocities: Warrant of Arrest unsealed against five LRA Commanders. That was October 2005.

One of the warrants has been resolved: “On 11 July 2007, following confirmation by the Government of Uganda and receipt of a death certificate, Pre-Trial Chamber II terminated the proceedings against Mr. Raska Lukwiya, thereby rendering the warrant of arrest without effect.”

The other four? “The remaining four warrants are still outstanding and have not been executed.”

Not only can you safely plan your next summer vacation and not miss anything on this matter, you can probably go ahead and plan your next 5 summer vacations and not miss anything…especially if you’re lucky enough to work for the ICC.

Side Note: The ICC currently has a whopping 4 situations on its plate: the Congo, Central African Republic, Uganda and Darfur. A total of 12 people have been named: 8 are still at large, 1 has had a “confirmation of charges” hearing, 2 have received decisions from their “confirmation of charges” hearings and exactly 1 is at trial now (which began late January).

But perhaps I am being unfair to the Court. After all, only “285 women and 302 men work for the ICC, coming from more than 85 states.” …and that includes 18 judges. ICC - Frequently Asked Questions

Comments:
The numerous crimes done by Omar al-Bashir president of Sudan has been brought into light for the first time by ICC by issuing an arrest warrant. It is the first step to ensure humanitarianism in a nation torn with wars and crimes, but will this situation lead to further problem for the Sudanese. The ban on the several international aid is just the beginning. Come share your view on this distressing event at
www.allvoices.com/journalism
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