Human Rights Group Demands Accountability for “Genocide Accomplices” at United Nations “Day of International Justice” Forum
Former US Congressman Tom Andrews, President of United to End Genocide, demanded that nations that welcome Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir – despite his arrest warrant for genocide – face the suspension of aid, the cancelling of official meetings and other acts of condemnation by the international community.
Speaking at a forum commemorating the “Day of International Justice” at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, Andrews noted that Bashir continued to travel with impunity despite being issued an arrest warrant for genocide three years ago by the International Criminal Court in a case referred by the United Nations Security Council.
“The time has come for governments like the United States to hold accomplices to genocide accountable for flaunting their responsibility under international law”, said Andrews.
“The good news is that someone in the US government said something about Nigeria's invitation to Bashir to attend this week's health conference. The bad news is that the most the US offical could say was that the United States "regrets" the Nigerian government's invitation to Bashir. We need more than tepid statements of regret when a man wanted for genocide travels with impunity around the world. We need strong words of condemnation and, even more importantly, action.” Andrews said.
“Nations that welcome a genocidal outlaw like Bashir need to be held accountable. Their support of impunity and lawlessness makes genocide that much more likely to continue.”
Despite the ongoing attacks on civilians and outstanding ICC arrest warrant, in just the last two months Bashir has been welcomed to Ethiopia, Eritrea, Qatar, Chad, and Nigeria with little to no international condemnation. Chad and Nigeria have a legal obligation to arrest Bashir as signers of the international treaty establishing the International Criminal Court.
Bashir has overseen the deaths of some 300,000 people and the displacement of another 3 million in Darfur alone, yet continues to enjoy near complete impunity in defiance of international law. He has spread his attacks to other parts of Sudan including the states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile, using aerial bombardments and ground attacks on civilians and blocking humanitarian access such that over 1 million people have been displaced or severely affected.
And ten years from the start of the genocide in Darfur, attacks continue, with over 300,000 Darfuris newly displaced by violence in the first half of 2013 and seven UN peacekeepers killed just last week in the worst single attack on the mission since it started.”
United to End Genocide called for all governments to:
- Stop the Silence – Speak out when Bashir travels: Let the world know that such impunity is unacceptable, release statements conveying clear condemnation and include those statements in bilateral meetings.
- Take concrete steps to hold countries that welcome Bashir accountable: suspend aid, cancel meetings or visits, take other actions that send a clear message to countries that allow Bashir to visit in violation of international law.