White House, George Clooney weigh in on ICC

From the White House:

“The White House believes those that have committed atrocities should be held accountable,” Gibbs told reporters.

“We would urge restraint on the part of all parties including the government of Sudan.

“Further violence against civilian Sudanese or foreign interests is to be avoided and won’t be tolerated.

“The president and this White House are determined to support the pursuit of an immediate ceasefire and long-term peace in the region.”

And George Clooney blogs at the Daily Beast:

Nothing new to report—except the shame of what man can do to man. And the secret seems to be that the longer it goes on, the more tolerant all of us become of it.

And yet, in the middle of all of this, we get a tiny window of hope. The International Criminal Court has now brought charges and an arrest warrant to Omar al-Bashir, the president of Sudan. He is indicted for crimes against humanity. It’s the first time a sitting president has been charged by The Hague. By the time the ICC got to them, Slobodan Milosevic and Charles Taylor were both finished with their reign of terror. Omar al-Bashir is not. Not by a long shot.

How effective these indictments will be is now in the hands of the rest of the world. Will his government turn him over? Not likely. Will the UN go in after him? Doubtful. Even if he’s caught travelling outside the safety of his country would his government be much better with other equally dangerous leaders like “The Sudanese Six”—Harun, Taha, Kushayb, Hilal, Minawi? If I were a refugee I wouldn’t bet my life on it.

So then why is this such a significant moment? Because it tells the 300,000 brutally killed and 2.5 million displaced and raped and maimed that justice must always prevail. That the rest of the world sees their struggle and stands up and demands justice.

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About Martha Heinemann Bixby

Advocacy. Politics. Life. Martha Heinemann Bixby.
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