In Bashir’s ICC troubles, Africa’s collective dithering continues

If you put all African political leaders in one room, you are most likely not going to get a lasting solution to a problem, especially if the decision is a highly urgent one with dire implications.
ICC charges Al-Bashir, Sudan rejects court’s jurisdiction.
ICC charges Al-Bashir, Sudan rejects court’s jurisdiction.

If you put all African political leaders in one room, you are most likely not going to get a lasting solution to a problem, especially if the decision is a highly urgent one with dire implications.

The Darfur debacle is but one of a long list of such crises. As the International Criminal Court (ICC) issues an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for alleged crimes against humanity, genocide, and war crimes the African Union instead sends a team to the United Nations to plead for more time.

More time is the classic catch, while more people are dying every day from a slow and quite genocide, which the world is yet to decide whether it is to be called genocide, or not.

Remember Rwanda in 1994! Must more people die, while African leaders are still checking their own eyes for logs before they take a stand? It smirks of Zimbabwe.

The grandmaster of post-independence pan-African big man syndrome, Robert Mugabe knows very well that no African leader will dare finger him for rigging an election with state inspired violence, because nobody is too clean.

They left empty barking without bite for another victim of electoral fraud up North in Raila Odinga.

Thabo Mbeki, easily the most powerful president in sub-Saharan Africa then, succumbs to the same ‘pandemic’.

Please, let Tsvangirai in, please for the sake of Zimbabweans, while the neighbours look on in collective fear.

The one bare Levy Mwanawasa going home too short of the goal of setting the record straight about the injustices his fellow Africans have to endure in Zimbabwe.

No wonder all one Muammar al-Gaddafi grand plans to forge a United Sates of Africa, do not meet any open opposition, only unsatisfied grunts.

Bashir might be a sitting president, but that is not a free license to arm the Janjaweed to cleanse out citizens of Darfur.

If we let him because he might kill more people in anger, then we might as well go for him, because either way his janjaweed will kill.

May be Mugabe and the like will take notice. If the American president can get away with the Iraq debacle, it does not mean we should let Bashir off the hook. Iraq belongs to them and Darfur to us.

And why should African countries threaten to withdraw the ratification of the ICC? Why is the ICC impartial when it is Milosevic, Bemba or Lubanga and not Bashir, because he is one of us?

African leaders can only make sense of the African Union by making sober and fast decisions when African lives are under threat.

Darfurians may be worse off because of the ICC arrest warrant, but in future, that single decision may prevent another Darfur debacle from the impunity of sorting out an opposition movement the way Bashir usually sorts out his.

Perhaps, African leaders should take a leaf from President Kagame. Instead of crying fowl to the African Union and the UN to help sort out a Congo-Rwanda issue, bring the supposed foes and identify your common interest - security, and common differences -war mongers - map out a joint plan and while other leaders are blaming, theorizing and conspiring. He showed leadership in seeing Operation Umoja Wetu through.

Imagine if he had invited the African Union camaraderie into the issue. It would have been reduced into the latest verbal circus. No wonder, everybody went mum, when everything went according to plan.

If Bashir is alleged to have committed crimes against humanity in Darfur, they should let him defend himself. If he is innocent and if the west wants to re-impose colonialism on Sudan as he claims, then let him prove them wrong the way Madam Rose Kabuye has embarrassed them. After all, they are just allegations, not admission of guilt.


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