On Monday July 14, 2008, the International Criminal Court’s (ICC)
Prosecutor, Mr. Luis Moreno-Ocampo, located in the Haage Netherlands,
placed a 10-page summary of an indictment before the three (3) judge
court. The summary painted a picture of Mr. Bashir’s action claiming
that it had tracked all the known attacks from 2003 to 2008 and demonstrated
the government’s genocidal strategy to attack civilian towns and
The charges included three (3) counts of genocide in the killings of
people in the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa’s ethnic groups; five (5)
counts of crimes against humanity involving murder, extermination, forcible
transfer, torture and rape; and two (2) counts of war crime involving
attacks on civilian populations in Darfur and the pillaging of towns
and villages. Mr. Moreno said, at a News Conference in the Haage, he
had irrefutable evidence of Bashir’s masterminding the atrocities.
He said, “There is very strong evidence that El-Bashir controlled
everything: the generals, the intelligence, the ministers, and the media.”
“The janjaweed militia called him directly for instructions,”
the prosecutor said. Thirty-five thousand people are reported to have
been killed from the three (3) ethnic groups. In addition, the UN estimates
300,000 people have been killed and 2.7 million people displaced. Mr.
Moreno-Ocampo said thousand of women and girls were raped with the rapist
expressing genocidal intent by saying the victims would bare Arab babies.
The conflict started in 2003. The Darfurian people accused the Sudanese
government of marginization. Rebel armies were organized to resist.
Early 1980, Bashir launched an invasion of south Sudan. After a 23-year
war, a Peace Agreement was consummated in 2005. Among other things,
given the south Sudan semi-autonomy, including the right to elect its
own president, who would be vice president in the central government
and a plebiscite in 2011, to determine independence or federation with
the central government. Significantly, both south Sudan and Darfur,
which is in the western region of Sudan, are indigenous Africans. The
minority leaders of the central government are Arabs.
Critics of Mr. Moreno-Ocampo claim that his decision would create more
chaos and suffering as Bashir may attempt to retaliate. The prosecutor,
however, responded that he was mandated to do a job. He has done it.
Now it is up to others to act. He did strike a note of urgency. He said,
“While we are delaying genocide is continuing.” On the other
side, rebel leaders and international organizations have praised the
decision. Suleiman Sandal of the Justice Equality Movement said, “The
decision on this indictment is a victory for humanity. Now the decision
will put Bashir in a corner and will help us now to overtake his regime.
A criminal man can not be President of a member state of the United
Mr. Moreno-Ocampo is asking the judges to issue a warrant for Mr. Bashir’s
arrest. It is anticipated a decision will be rendered in two to three
months. It is expected the judges will grant the prosecutors request.
Mr. Bashir had said he rejects the indictment and vowed to resist any
attempt to arrest him. A Sudanese spokesman said he expected support
from Russia, China, the African Union (AU) and the Arab league.
Immediately, after the indictment was issued, I released a press statement.
In it I said:
“On behalf of the National Religious Leaders of African Ancestry
Concerned about Darfur (NRLAA) and the victims of the alleged genocide,
I applaud the long overdue action of the ICC’s Prosecutor, Luis
Moreno-Ocampo, to indict the Sudan president on charges of genocide,
war crimes and crimes against humanity. In December 2006, I participated
in a march sponsored by an international movement in Brussels, Belgium.
Participants marched from Brussels, Belgium to the court in Haage urging
the court to indict the Sudanese government. I want to believe that
our actions contributed to this decision.
I visited the refugee camps in Chad on two (2) occasions. On one occasion,
we delivered 600 boxes of material support. I spoke to refugees, rebel
leaders and soldiers, educators, religious leaders, humanitarian workers
and government officials throughout Chad and south Sudan. There testimonies
were always the same – “First came the planes, then the
big military vehicles and guns, and then came the riders on horses and
camel backs. They raped, kidnapped, killed and maimed. They destroyed
everything and they took our land and our properties.”
I applaud the decision for another reason. Now the world would hear
the evidence, and in fairness to Mr. El-Bashir, he will have his day
in court and/or be able to show contrary evidence of his innocence.
He has claimed that only 9,000 people have been killed. The UN and other
authorities have claimed anywhere from 200 – 400,000 people have
been killed and 2.5 to 2.7 million people have been displaced.
NRLAA is planning a demonstration at the United Nations, Tuesday, July
22, 2008 at 12noon to 1pm, to persuade the UN Security Council to support
the ICC prosecutor’s decision.”
It is important for those of us who have been supportive of the Darfurian
people to increase our organizing. We must heighten the pressure wherever
we think it will get results. The process started by the Prosecutor
must end with an arrest warrant. The UN Security Council, which asked
the court in 2005 to investigate the Darfur crises, has the authority
to suspend an investigation or prosecution for at least a year.
Again it is imperative that we do all we can to expedite the process
leading to a warrant for Mr. Bashir’s arrest. LET US REMEMBER,
WHILE WE DELAY GENOCIDE CONTINUES.
Attend the Timbuktu Learning Center’s weekly Thursday Night Community
Forums. All Forums are held at the House of the Lord Church from 7pm
to 9pm. ALL FORUMS HAVE BEEN SUSPENDED FOR THE MONTH OF JULY AND AUGUST.
On Saturday, August 2, 2008, all are invited to Join Rev. Dr. Herbert
Daughtry in Prospect Park at the Music Pagoda (The Nethermead) from
11am to 5 pm, where he will be celebrating 50 years of practicing a
holistic ministry and providing activist service to the Community. Entertain
will be provided by Randy Weston, the Anointed Voices, The Cohen Brothers,
Min. Lawrence Craig, Bishop Nathaniel Townsley & the Gospel Jubilee.
There will be words of encouragement from the activist community, the
religious community, the political arena and many, many others. The
event is free. Bring your own food to cook out. Rain date will be at
the House of the Lord Church, 415 Atlantic Avenue, downtown Brooklyn,
NY, same day same time.
Join Operation Life Line if you need assistance or know someone who
needs assistance with their mortgages as it relates to foreclosures,
predatory lending and/or subprime lending.
Attend NRLAA’s monthly forum Focus on Africa the 2nd Saturday
from 2pm to 4pm.
Organizing Meetings regarding Darfur every Thursday - 12noon @ the House
of the Lord Church
Keep abreast of our Darfurian activities by checking our web page @
HYPERLINK "http://www.holnj.org" www.holnj.org.
NEED QUALITY CHILD CARE? – Call the Alonzo A. Daughtry Memorial
Daycare Center Located at 333 Second Street, (Between 4th & 5th
Avenues) downtown Brooklyn, NY @ (718) 499-2066. Immediate openings
in a state of the arts center.