The New York Times reported last night that the judges of the International Criminal Court have decided to issue an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. While this is an extraordinary step in the direction of justice, it presents real danger in the short-term.
There is every reason to believe that Bashir may react by lashing out against civilians, aid workers or peacekeeping forces. We need a clear, bold message from President Obama that the U.S. will not stand for retribution from Khartoum.
He must name a high-level diplomat with the stature, mandate and authority to bring peace to Sudan, protection to its people and accountability to the perpetrators—today.
Click here to tell President Obama to put someone in charge of Darfur immediately.
The ICC has never before indicted a head of state. This extraordinary development adds legal weight to a long obvious truth: primary responsibility for the atrocities in Darfur rests with the regime that Bashir heads.
Now we're at a pivotal moment for Sudan. What our leaders do next will determine whether we turn a corner or whether this crisis becomes tragically, brutally worse:
All nations and their heads of state must refuse to conduct business as usual with Bashir.
The U.N. Security Council must stand firm against any retaliatory violence and reject any attempt to abandon the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended the war in Southern Sudan.
If we continue to let war crimes go unpunished, if we fail to bring the full weight of American influence to bear on this crisis, the result could be untold misery for the people of Darfur.
Jerry FowlerSave Darfur Coalition
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