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Five reasons the ICC wants Sudan’s Bashir

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir's name appeared on the provisional itinerary of speakers for the annual UN General Assembly meeting, the New York Times has reported. File picture: Siphiwe Sibeko

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir's name appeared on the provisional itinerary of speakers for the annual UN General Assembly meeting, the New York Times has reported. File picture: Siphiwe Sibeko

Published Jun 15, 2015

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The IOL Mojo team looks at the reasons the International Criminal Court wants to put Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir on trial.

1. That time he killed 300 000 people

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Rebels attacked Omar al-Bashir’s government in 2003. He responded by unleashing ruthless militias which burned homes and murdered civilians. Al-Bashir’s government claims only 10 000 people died and 70 000 were displaced. But the UN estimates that 300 000 people were killed in the conflict, and 2.7 million were displaced after their homes were destroyed.

2. He masterminded a genocide

According to the International Criminal Court, Al-Bashir masterminded a mission to destroy the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa peoples – just because of their ethnicity.

3. His army spent 5 years attacking and destroying villages

Al-Bashir couldn’t defeat the armed rebels – so he went after ordinary people. He burnt their homes so that they wouldn’t return, and millions were forced to flee the country as refugees.

4. Survivors were hunted down and raped

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Al-Bashir’s armies chased survivors into the desert. The men were killed and the women gang-raped. One victim said: “When we see them, we run. Some of us succeed in getting away, and some are caught and taken to be raped. Maybe around 20 men rape one woman. They rape girls in front of their mothers and fathers.”

5. His army attacked refugee camps

For the 2.45 million people who took shelter in refugee camps, the horror was not over. Al-Bashir’s men surrounded the camps.

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The ICC prosecutor says: “Al-Bashir organised the destitution, insecurity and harassment of the survivors. He did not need bullets. He used other weapons: rapes, hunger, and fear. As efficient, but silent.”

The Charges:

Al-Bashir is facing 10 criminal counts.

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5 X crimes against humanity: murder, extermination, forcible transfer, torture, rape.

2 X war crimes: intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population, pillaging.

3 X genocide: genocide by killing, genocide by causing serious bodily or mental harm, genocide by deliberately inflicting on each target group conditions of life calculated to bring about the group's physical destruction.

Source: International Criminal Court

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