At 8 am eastern standard time, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese president Omar al Bashir for alleged war crimes in Darfur. This was not exactly an unexpected development. We have known for at least a week that today was the day that the shoe was to drop.
Boonstra and I have followed the ICC proceedings against Bashir for quite a long time here on UN Dispatch. You can see posts here, here, and here and a recent American Prospect piece I wrote. Bottom line is that we believe that the warrant has the ability to give the international community added leverage over the Sudanese government, which on balance has been an unhelpful partner for peace in Sudan. We are mindful that certain deleterious humanitarian consequences may follow today’s announcement, but if approached with the right diplomatic finesse, the arrest warrant can support wider international efforts at peace and stability in Sudan.
Throughout the day we will update this post with reactions around the world to today’s big news. In the meantime, check out this Enough Project report on how the arrest warrant will shake up Sudanese politics and Citizens For Global Solutions’ invaluable ICC explainer.