Not out of hot water yet, Bashir

As if being indicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity was just a lukewarm bath…But prosecutors are going to go for the full boil — a charge of genocide — again, as the ICC will re-hear evidence for the crime that it declined back in its original March ruling.

The court, set up in 2002 by international statute, could change its decision if the prosecution could gather additional evidence, the ICC said in March.

My friend Kevin Jon Heller has much more on this, but I didn’t think this was (or at least should be) about gathering additional evidence. Any overturning of the rejection of the genocide charge would seem to require an acceptance that the Sudanese government demonstrated intent to target a specific ethnic or racial group; and I’m not sure how additional evidence would prove this intent beyond the extent to which it’s already been demonstrated. I’ve read plenty of accounts, for example, of the prevalence of racial epithets during Janjaweed attacks, some of which was conducted by the UN’s own Commission of Inquiry.

So while I think a genocide finding would be legally correct, I have to assume that it was a political decision (albeit a kind of bizarre one) not to indict Bashir with the g-word, and I thus don’t hold out too much hope of the ICC changing its mind.

Get occasional updates from UN Dispatch

* indicates required

Our free service for global affairs professionals

  • Want to learn more?