Well, not for the war crimes he has been indicted for committing during a particularly ravaging attack on an AU-protected camp, but for agreeing to show up at The Hague for trial. This sets a positive precedent for others in Sudan indicted by the ICC, such as, um, that president guy. But even though this may put Bashir in an awkward position — he opposes both the ICC and the Darfuri rebels — don’t expect his plane to veer out his much-traveled regional orbit toward the Netherlands any time soon. He has developed quite a knack for talking out of both sides of his mouth, so I fully expect him to find a way to condemn both the rebels’ war crimes and the court trying them, without so much as a flinch of hypocrisy.

(And as Kevin Jon Heller notes, it is unfortunate that the first trial involves Darfur rebels, and not government forces; but it will be that much more unfortunate if the only trials to go forward are ones that involve rebels, and not those responsible for creating the bleak environment that Darfur has been reduced to.)

Get occasional updates from UN Dispatch

* indicates required

Want Our Social Media List?