Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb military commander, just like Karadzic, Mladic was also known as the “Butcher of Bosnia” was found guilty of genocide by a UN tribunal at The Hague and sentenced to life in prison. The crimes were committed by the Bosnian Serb forces between 1992-1995 were partly directed by Mladic, and as a result he was sentenced on on Wednesday (22nd November 2017). It is worth mentioning that Karadzic was sentenced by the very court a year and half ago for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The waiting game is one of the most cruel aspect of the justice system, yet it is important to prove with damning evidence and beyond no reasonable doubt that the person(s) in question has acted with intent to cause such havoc and atrocities.
22 years after Mladic indictment by the ICC, he got tangled by the architecture of international law. The very justice he denied his victims was offered to him, yet the indicators and evidence of atrocities his soldiers committed against the innocent people of Bosnia were overwhelming and justice eventually prevailed.
Between Bashir of Sudan and Karadzic & Mladic of Serbia
The Rhetoric is almost identical. Back in 1993, amid the vicious war against the people of Srebrenica, Karadzic and Mladic were asked by international journalists about ‘alleged systematic crimes by his troops’ against the innocent population of Srebrenica and the selective targeting on the basis of religious belief and ethnicity. They stood up dismissing the ‘allegation’ and the world double standard against their government, lack of evidence and lastly emphasised on the right their government has to run the country by the way ‘they’ see suit.
Years later the very words were echoed/ been used by Bashir of Sudan in his denial of any wrong doing in Darfur. Bashir Infamous Speech in Elfashir in March 2009, in a defiant act after his indictment by the ICC he said “Anyone who supports the court is under my shoe, http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-sudanbashir9-2009mar09-story.html”. He went on and on using colourful words to describe the former general prosecutor of the ICC as well as to claim the reported numbers of dead in Darfur were fabricated,m; it was not 300000 as the west claimed, it is JUST 10000!
7 years ago, where Luis Ocampo, the former general prosecutor of the ICC, announced that his team have gathered enough evidence to prosecute Omer Bashir, the sitting president of Sudan, for crimes committed under his commands, that counts for the following:
5 counts for crimes against humanity
2 counts of war crimes
3 counts of genocide
The gathering of evidence was concluded by the 12th of July 2010, under the statue of Rome. Two warrants of arrest issued by the Pre Trial Chamber are out there, and the perpetrator (Bashir) is still at large.
Since then, several light attempts were put in place to arrest Bashir, in Kenya, Nigeria and the last one was in South Africa, June 2015. During Bashir visit to participate in AU summit, an interim order was made by the high court in Pretoria, barring President Bashir from leaving South Africa, after civil organisations called for his arrest on the basis of an ICC warrant. Bashir managed to escape after the executive bodies failed to conduct the judiciary orders. The South African appeal court has accused the government of “disgraceful conduct” in allowing Sudanese president (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/16/south-african-court-rules-failure-to-detain-omar-al-bashir-was-disgraceful). This came as an embarrassment to SA government, and as a huge disappointment to the people of Sudan in Darfur, and justice advocates around the world. Nonetheless, the ICC prosecution case against Bashir has proved to be a source of discomfort to the perpetrator and his government, and it is a source of inspiration for the people of the region. Since the indictment, Bashir and his militias have waged a viscous war in Darfur. As of the 18th of March 2016, UN OCHA have reported up to 98000 civilians fleeing the violence in Western Darfur. Bashir has also extended his genocidal plans to the regions of Nuba Mountains and Blue Niles.
Only a few weeks ago Bashir visited the crime since, Darfur and decided he wanted to go to one of the largest IDP camps in South Darfur State, as his he was received as a hero returning back to his people! The people of Sudan in that region revolted at the thought of Bashir visiting the camp and organised a peaceful protest a day before the visit, thoughts were crying out load “Bashir to ICC). Th Sudan president’ ego was hurt and he ordered his troops to put an end to the peaceful demo. The rapid speed force entered the camp and use excessive force to disrupt the demo. The aggression by RSF has lead to some people left injuries and others imprisoned.
Darfur Union in the United Kingdom calls upon the international community to put pressure on the Sudan government to allow access of aid agencies to war affected areas in Darfur.
* plea to the UK, US and EU and UN, to stand with the people of Sudan in Darfur, Blue Nile State and Nuba Mountains, by putting pressure on the government of Sudan, to allow aid and humanitarian agencies to have full access to the affected areas.
* Another request is to give the ICC the necessary supports to opening new investigations into breaches of international laws in Darfur and Nuba Mountains. furthermore, to put pressure on member states and signatories to execute the arrest order when Bashir visit or uses air space.
* Most importantly, the support that is given by the UK to the UNAMID forces, we asked that is continue in conjunction with reform in the organisation that will enable the force to execute the UN mandate in Darfur. To protect the force from further cuts.
• All the previous ‘peace agreement’, including the Doha Document for Peace have failed to bring about hint of peace to the region. Mass killing, mass rape, enforced displacement of people has continued. A long lasting peace process requires the International Community to play its diplomatic role, in bring all involved parties, including civil societies to have the voices of the masses heard.
• It is high time to address Sudan government’s plans to dismantle the IDP camps across Darfur. (https://darfurunionuk.wordpress.com/2016/01/21/darfur-union-in-the-uk-position-on-darfur-referendum-by-al-bashir-government/)
It is high time for the world to live to its pledge of NEVER AGAIN.
Together we can make a difference and give a voice to the voiceless.
Press Office, Darfur Union in the United Kingdom
Twitter handle: @Darfurunionuk