Daily Video

March 5, 2009

Sudan President Charged With Darfur War Crimes

The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for President Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan for atrocities committed in Darfur.

The arrest warrant lists five counts of crimes against humanity — murder, extermination, forcible transfer, torture, and rape — and two counts of war crimes, intentionally directing attacks against civilians and pillaging. He has not been accused of genocide.

President Bashir’s alleged crimes were committed in Darfur, where the U.N. says some 300,000 people have died and more than 2.5 million forced to flee their homes since 2003.

President Bashir can continue traveling to countries like China, which has not signed up to the International Criminal Court. But now that he has been indicted, he will have to be careful about his route or face arrest and trial.


“I say to them: Put these resolutions in water and drink the lot.” -Omar Al-Bashir, Sudan President

“As soon Omar al-Bashir travels through international airspace, he can be arrested. Like Slobodan Milosevic or Charles Taylor, Omar al-Bashir’s destiny is to face justice. It will be in two months or in two years, but he will face justice.” – Luis Moreno-Ocampo, chief prosecutor, International Criminal Court

Warm Up Questions

1. What is genocide?

2. What happened in Darfur, Sudan earlier this decade?

Discussion Questions

1. Do you think President Bashir will be found guilty? Why or why not?

2. What are war crimes? What responsibility does a country’s leader have during a period of war?

3. Make a prediction: do you think President Bashir will face trial?

4. Research some other leaders charged with war crimes: Charles Taylor of Liberia, Idi Amin of Uganda, Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia– what happened to these men? Did they think they had done anything wrong?

Additional Resources

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Bashir Warrant Adds New Tension to Darfur Crisis

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