Sudan’s “Conflict of Identities” Assists War Criminal President’s Escape from Justice

By Faith McDonnell Published on June 24, 2015

As the world looked on this past Monday, June 15, and wondered if an evil world leader was finally going to get his just deserts, the South African government allowed that war criminal to once again evade arrest. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, took off from Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria even as a South Africa High Court Judge, Dunstan Mlambo, ordered that he be detained and turned over to the ICC.

Bashir is leader of an Islamist ruling class responsible for multiple genocides over six decades, resulting in the death of some five million people and displacement of another eight million. This Islamist ruling class — that fancies itself Arab, not African — has marginalized, persecuted, enslaved, and killed black, African Sudanese. As a result of what South Sudanese scholar Francis Deng called Sudan’s “conflict of identities,” these Islamists seek to eradicate Sudan’s African culture and ethnicity. But, as this latest evasion of justice shows, when it is to Bashir’s advantage – as in earning the sympathy of the African continent’s other leaders – the Sudanese “Arab” suddenly becomes African once again. 

The Wall Street Journal on June 16 reported that the Foreign Ministry excused the South African government’s defiance of the court’s order saying that “Mr. Bashir’s diplomatic visit to an African Union summit in Johannesburg was exempt from the country’s commitment to arrest individuals wanted by the Netherlands-based international court.” But there is another reason for South Africa’s non-cooperation with the ICC.

The South African government has followed the shameful pattern of other governments that have refused to both prohibit Bashir from entering their nation and refused to detain him once he is there. So the genocidal jihadist leader of Sudan’s National Islamic Front regime (re-named the National Congress Party to deceive the gullible) jets with impunity around the world while his armed forces are dropping cluster bombs on civilians in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile State.

As Bashir was hobnobbing with other African leaders at the African Union summit, two South Sudanese Christian pastors have been sitting shackled to the wall of a Khartoum prison, under a possible death sentence. In May, when Bashir attended the presidential inauguration in Nigeria, North Darfuri victims of Khartoum’s wrath struggled to survive a water shortage and a government blockage of all humanitarian aid.  In March, as Bashir smiled from his position just in front of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in the group photo for an Egyptian economic summit, over 220 Darfuri girls and women in the village ofTabit were still trying to recover from the horrific gang rape by Khartoum’s troops that took place there last November.

How can African nations continue to enable this genocidal regime?

The African Union has accused the International Criminal Court of bias and racism against African leaders. According to the Wall Street Journal on June 15, “In 2013 the AU accused the court of ‘race hunting’ Africans and began lobbying for cases against sitting heads of states to be turned over to African courts.”

“Race hunting Africans!” Could it be that other African leaders don’t know that race-hunting Africans is precisely what Bashir and other government leaders of Sudan are doing? Are they not aware that Bashir refers to the people of the Nuba Mountains as “black insects” and “rubbish”? Or that at the beginning of the attack on the Nuba, in June 2011, the Sudanese government troops and Popular Defense Force militia, like Nazi storm troopers, conducted house to house searches for ethnic black, African Nuba (both Christian and Muslim)?  And that as many as 7000 Nuba men, women, and children who were assured of safety if they would go to the UN compound were then dragged out of the camp by Sudanese forces and slaughtered at the gate while UN Mission in Sudan Egyptian troops looked on? And that this was done because they were black Africans?

The Nuba are just one of the “marginalized people groups” (read: the 75% or more of the country that are of black, African ethnicity) targeted by the government of Bashir. Like the Nuba, the Darfurians of western Sudan, the Maban, Ingessana, and other tribes in Blue Nile State, and, of course, the people of South Sudan, have been the victims of genocidal war waged by the Sudanese government. And the Nubians of the far north and Beja of eastern Sudan have also been targeted in various ways to destroy their cultures, and even their existence, through demographic modification.

Are other leaders of Africa aware that Bashir considers them his inferiors because of their black skin, and would refer to them as abeed, the Arabic word for “slaves,” the category to which all black Africans belong in the jaundiced eyes of Omar al-Bashir and his ilk? Not only that, but the National Islamic Front regime used slavery of black Africans as a weapon of jihad against the South. Investigations such as that of the Sudan Task Force created by the Bush Administration, redemption efforts resulting in personal testimonies, and finally the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005 created such pressure that the practice is no longer a weapon of choice (but not entirely stopped).

Sudan uses its membership in the African Union to manipulate the rest of the leadership on the African continent, but the Arabized-Sudanese leadershipprizes its membership in the Arab League. That union confirms the Sudanese Islamists self-deceptive opinion of themselves as pure Arab Muslims. President Bashir only considers himself an African when it benefits him, such as this week in South Africa. In short, Omar al-Bashir has one-upped racially-conflicted Rachel Dolezal, the white woman pretending to be black. This week, Bashir is an African pretending to be an Arab pretending to be an African.

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