It has been a busy couple of weeks in Sudan news, from the announcement of a security buffer zone agreement that will allow the resumption of oil flows to the death of four peacekeepers in Darfur. Lost amid the recent discussions on Sudan was the conspicuous absence of Sudanese President Bashir, or any high-ranking Sudanese representative, at the Third Summit of South American and Arab countries in Peru.
No low level gathering, the attendees included the heads of state for Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Uruguay, Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia, and Qatar, as well as the foreign ministers from Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait, and Bahrain. One might attribute this absence to priorities at home in Sudan, but it is also evident that the absence had a lot to do with the fact that President Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes including genocide in Darfur. Peru, as an ICC member, would be obligated to arrest him and at the last South American and Arab Summit, Bashir was embarrassed when the presidents of Brazil and Argentina refused to sit down or appear with Bashir in the group photo.
To the outrage of victims old and new in Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile, Bashir is still free in his own country and in the few countries that still choose to welcome him. But it might serve as some small bit of solace to know that in the greater part of the world, it is understood that Bashir is unwelcome.