Bashir Down--Nkunda, Museveni Next?

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[Black Star News Editorial]

As widely expected, the Pre-Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC), has issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for his role, as commander in chief of the Sudan army, for alleged war crimes in connection with the conflict in the Darfur region.

The warrant weakens his regime and he may be pushed from power as opponents are emboldened.
It is believed by many human rights activists that soon indictments will be returned on other African rogues, including Laurent Nkunda, who is now being protected by Rwanda, and Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni and even Rwanda’s president Paul Kagame.

Omar Hassan al-Bashir cannot remain president of the Sudan forever; so, eventually, he will have his day in the Hague court. Bashir had survived the warrants because under the George Bush regime, he was tolerated because his secret police worked with the CIA, sharing information about Al-Qaeda suspects.

His protector Bush departed in January; no coincidence that the arrest warrant comes this month.

No more impunity for crimes of genocide and massacres in Africa. The survivors of the countless victims want justice so that they can move on with their lives. Importantly, African dictators now see that they cannot preside over massacres simply to maintain political power. They will eventually be prosecuted.

The tide began to change when former Liberian dictator, Charles Taylor, was carted to The Hague for trial by the Special Court set up for Sierra Leone war crimes. Taylor had financed and trained vicious insurgents in Sierra Leone who became infamous for massacres as well as for mutilating and raping civilians during the civil war there.

Similarly, Uganda’s dictator Museveni, who was also a George Bush favorite, no longer has a protector in Washington. The ICC has been investigating his army, of which he, like al-Bashir, is commander-in-chief, for war crimes committed in eastern Congo. Uganda had occupied eastern Congo from 1997 to 2003. In 2005, on the civil case, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) found Uganda liable of war crimes, including massacres and rapes, in addition to plunder of Congo's wealth; Congo has demanded $10 billion in liabilities. (Please see

Another Ugandan, Joseph Kony, leader of the LRA, is also wanted by the ICC on outstanding arrest warrants in connection with crimes against humanity in northern Uganda; Museveni remains an unindicted criminal on those Uganda crimes as well, as his army has also committed atrocities there.

Laurent Nkunda is wanted for the recent round of massacres in eastern Congo by his insurgents, financed by Rwanda, according to a United Nations report. Kagame also may not be spared for the Congo atrocities.

Murderous African despots have held the continent’s economic and socio-political progress back or even reversed it in some cases to the 19th century. They have destroyed a whole generation of young people by recruiting them as child soldiers.

By prosecuting those guilty of war crimes uniformly, without bias or favor, the ICC can do much to free ordinary Africans from murderous  tyranny. However, selective prosecution would destroy the ICC's credibility and even offer a defense argument for those on trial.

Please send your comments to or respond via the readers' comments section.


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