Sudan: Omar al-Bashir – a criminal judged by other criminals

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On Wednesday 4 March, the International Criminal Court issued a warrant of arrest for Omar al-Bashir, the president of Sudan. The president is being formally accused of "war crimes and crimes against humanity".

Who exactly is this Omar al-Bashir, now being judged by the International Criminal Court, a plaything of the imperialist gangs who make up the UN Security Council, in other words, the powers that rule the world and who have allowed the Sudanese president to massacre and impoverish an entire population for nearly 20 years?

It's certainly true that since he came to power, al-Bashir has been carrying out the most barbaric wars and exactions, leaving a trail of hundreds of thousands of deaths.

"In April 1990, ten months after he came to power, he executed 28 officers for their part in a ‘plot'. From 2003, he unleashed the Janjaweed militias on hundreds of villages in Darfur with a mission of killing, raping and pillaging. We know the result: three hundred thousand killed, according to the UN" (Jeune Afrique, 14/3/9).

This is the official balance sheet of the victims of al-Bashir in Darfur, but to complete it we would have to recall that even before doing his hateful work in Darfur, the same killer, as soon as he got into power, re-launched and widened the sinister conflict in South Sudan which has resulted in more than two million deaths.

One criminal can hide others

Omar al-Bashir certainly has a cardinal responsibility for the massacre of the Sudanese populations, but the question is: did this barbarian achieve all this horror on his own, or did he benefit from the support of other criminals hiding behind him?

If you look more closely at the attitude of the great powers in Sudan, it becomes clear that it is the big imperialist powers, squabbling over control of the region, who have armed, supported and closed their eyes to the activities of the ‘dictator of Khartoum'. The same al-Bashir has indeed served the interests of one of them after the other. For example, in the 1990s, he was the instrument of French imperialism in the latter's struggle against the USA for control over the Sudan/Chad region. It was with the military support of the Sudanese regime that French imperialism was able to help the current president of Chad, Idris Déby, seize power from former president Hissène Habré, who, having been the pawn of France, had then become the pawn of Washington. What's more, as Le Monde pointed out on 6 March, Sarkozy was the last western head of state to meet al-Bashir, in Qatar in November 2008. This is because "France wanted to preserve Chad, a friendly regime, from new convulsions linked to the crisis in Darfur". This is why Paris is still so attached to the criminal regime of al-Bashir.

As for the USA, it should be recalled that the Bush administration made friendly overtures to the Sudanese president with the aim of signing a ‘security agreement' for the ‘War on Terror', opening the area of the Sudan to the activities of the CIA and American interests in general. But above all, al-Bashir had been committing the most abject crimes ‘against humanity' in Darfur when he was invited by Washington to negotiate and sign the famous ‘American peace plan' which led to the formation of a ‘unity government' between the power in Khartoum and the former secessionists of the SPLM (the Movement for the Liberation of the People of South Sudan). And the American representative at this ‘negotiating table' avoided mentioning that al-Bashir's hands were still red with the blood of his victims at the time.

As for China, since the 1990s it has been intensifying its relations with Khartoum and today has become its best source of political and diplomatic support, notably at the UN, while buying nearly 70% of its oil and being al-Bashir's main arms supplier. There's no doubt that al-Bashir's Sudan is Chinese imperialism's main pawn for extending its influence in Africa.

We can thus see how this Sudanese ‘monster', so roundly denounced in the western media, who have put it all in the most ‘horrified' tones, continues to survive, as he has always done, under the shadow of an imperialist protector, whether an ‘ex' or a more recent suitor. All of them have done all they can to offer him a way out. As the same article in Jeune Afrique put it:

"'If president al-Bashir thinks that the accusation of the International Criminal Court is unfounded, he can contest it' (USA); ‘there can only be a political solution to the Darfur crisis' (France); ‘Omar al-Bashir enjoys the immunity of a head of state through international law' (Russia); ‘China opposes any action which may disturb the overall peaceful situation in Darfur and Sudan' (China)."

To sum up: the French, the Americans, the Russians, the Chinese and all the other imperialist vultures don't give a toss about what's happening to the population of Darfur, which today as yesterday is being handed over to the butcher of Khartoum. Because this region is one of Africa's geo-strategic high-spots, all the big imperialist powers will go on vying for influence by sowing war and death. With or without the condemnation of Omar al-Bashir by the International Criminal Court, the inhabitants of Darfur will continue to live in hell.  

Amina 23/3/9

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