On Monday this week, Sudan Tribune reported that Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir attended the inauguration ceremony of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Bashir was indicted in 2009 by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide, for his government’s actions and policies in the Darfur region of Sudan. This genocide is still ongoing. You can read about the scale of the current genocide (here) and (here), as well as the most recent report by the ICC (here). Though only legally held to account in 2009, Bashir’s genocide in Darfur has been ongoing for 15 years, since 2003.
Turkey is not party to the Rome Statute, the founding document of the ICC, and is thus not legally bound to arrest Bashir and turn him over to ICC authorities. Turkey is, however, a member of the United Nations and the UNSC -R 1595 obligates all UN members to support the implementation of UNSC resolutions without exception. and it is morally imperative for Turkey not to host a genocidal dictator responsible for the death and displacement of millions of innocent civilians of his own country.
Turkey allowing Bashir to travel freely across its borders is not only an insult to victims of Bashir in Sudan, it is also an affront to international justice given the timing of the visit, coming as it did only three days before the eighth anniversary of Bashir’s second indictment by the ICC for the crime of genocide on July 12, 2010.
DWAG therefore wishes to remind Turkey, an important player in the region, that it is imperative to stand for justice and not against it. We further condemn Turkey for allowing Bashir to travel freely, and for refusing to hold him to account for his crimes against the people of Darfur.