Ten years ago today, on March 4th the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued the first arrest warrant for President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan. The initial charges were for war crimes and crimes against humanity. However, on July 12, 2010, the ICC issued a second warrant this time inducing the added charge of genocide. The ICC cited Sudan’s genocidal campaign in Darfur, which has been ongoing for more than 15 years and continues unabated to this day.
For more than 15 years, the Sudanese Government’s military forces and their allied militia (the Janjaweed) have carried out systematic attacks against the Darfuri people based on their ethnicity. They have bombed villages, abducted civilians, looted private property, and used rape as a weapon of war against women and girls. As a result, over 4 million Darfuris have been affected, and over 3 million have been forced to leave their villages and continued to live in makeshift camps within Sudan and Chad. To date, over 3 million people remain in these camps with limited access to humanitarian assistance, education, health care, and food.
The impunity must end! President al-Bashir’s continued freedom from liability for such heinous crimes serves as an affront to our international human rights, humanitarians’ laws, and the genocide convention that our world leaders repeatedly vowed to uphold.
We must speak up, continue to expose al-Bashir’s crimes, and hold our leaders accountable for ignoring them. We urge the United States government not to normalize relations with Sudan as normalizing with Genocidaires is equal to normalizing genocide.
In the coming days, we will be sharing information about the situation and will give you the opportunity to take action.
We urge you to join us on social media to denounce this criminal and urge our leaders not to let Bashir get away with murder.
Niemat Ahmadi, President
Darfur Women Action Group’s team