Daily Video

August 14, 2009

Wanted Sudanese President Denies Wrongdoing

Last March, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir was indicted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity related to atrocities committed in Darfur during the six years.

The United Nations estimates that the Darfur crisis has led to the deaths of more than a quarter of a million people and displaced at least 2.5 million from their homes.

In an interview with Time Magazine’s Sam Dealey, President al-Bashir denies any wrongdoing in the conflict that positioned rebel groups against government forces.

In this video, NewsHour correspondent Simon Marks looks at the current political situation in Sudan.

Quotes

“We think that the ICC is a tool to terrorize countries that the West thinks are disobedient. The African position today, by consensus, is not to cooperate with this court, and it has reached a conclusion that this court is directed against the countries of the third world and a tool of neocolonialism.” – Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir

“A rebellion happened there, from a small group, and any attempt to picture the militants as representatives of the people of Darfur is a big mistake. You will find in all the world’s countries that militants who take up arms against a government are classified as “terrorists.” Even those who resist occupation in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine are classified today as “terrorists,” except in Sudan. When some people take up arms, it’s the government that’s guilty.” – Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir

“In any war, mistakes happen on the ground. This is not the policy of the government. We are a government that functions in accordance with the law. The security apparatus functions in accordance with the law. Whoever intentionally breaks the law is held accountable to it.” – Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir

Warm Up Questions

1. Where is Sudan? What do you know about Sudan?

2. Where is Darfur? What has happened there?

Discussion Questions

1. What have you heard about the situation in Darfur? Do you think its important for the U.S. government to do something about it? What should it do?

2. he Sudanese President says he does not recognize the ruling of the ICC and believes that the court is a “tool of neocolonialism.” What do you think? Is it fair for an international jury to try a world leader? Explain.

3. In the report, the U.S. special envoy to Sudan hopes that America will soon lift economic sanctions against Sudan. What are economic sanctions? How do they affect relationships between countries and the lives of ordinary civilians?

Additional Resources

Read the transcript

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