bashir-afpFive years. 260 weeks. 1,826 days. That is how long Omar al-Bashir — the mastermind behind the Darfur genocide — has dodged justice since a warrant was issued for his arrest by the International Criminal Court.

It’s not because we don’t know where he is. Last week he was in the Democratic Republic of Congo. And over the last year, eight other nations rolled out the red carpet for Bashir: Chad, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kuwait, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and South Sudan.

These nations must be reminded that by hosting a wanted criminal that they are accomplices to the killing in Darfur and the continued attacks across Sudan today. Join us in demanding that these countries arrest Bashir should he enter their nation again.

President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan stands accused of the world’s most heinous crimes — genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity — for his part in killing more than 300,000 men, women, and children in Darfur and forcing millions more to leave their homes with no place to go.

Undeterred by his arrest warrants, Bashir continues his crimes with impunity, expanding his bombing and attacks against civilians beyond Darfur to those in the Sudanese states of Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan.

And over the last year, 9 nations declared that they do not care. All welcomed Bashir into their country, some multiple times. Collectively they receive more than $1.5 billion in U.S. aid. Many are Bashir’s neighbors and deeply influential on the African continent.

If Bashir is to be held accountable then the countries that enable his impunity must also be held accountable. And if the UN Security Council and the world’s governments will not cry out against such an affront to justice, then it is up to citizens like you to do so by taking action.

If we act, the world will listen. Last year, under threat of a lawsuit filed by the Nigerian Coalition for the International Criminal Court, Bashir fled a summit he was scheduled to speak at. In 2012, the outcry of activists and some Members in the U.S. Congress helped to bring pressure to bear on Malawi, both diplomatically and in the form of threatened loss of bilateral aid, resulting in a warning that Bashir would be arrested if he were to follow through on a planned visit.

It’s time for us to take a stand for justice. Together we will let the world know that fugitives from international justice will have no more places to take refuge and justice will finally be served.

Demonstrators hold placards and shout slogans during a protest against the aid group Doctors Without Borders in the Rakhine state city of Sittwe in western Myanmar, on Feb. 22. | AFP-JIJI

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