Tuesday, Jul. 15, 2008 By SAM DEALEY / KHARTOUM
The reaction in the Sudanese capital was deceptively muted after the chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno-Ocampo, charged Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir Monday with war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Darfur's five-year war. Only hundreds of people gathered outside a U.N. compound to protest Moreno-Ocampo's announcement, and government officials largely refrained from the fiery outbursts reporters have come to expect.
Coolness, however, should not be confused with inaction. Bunkered in government compounds across Khartoum, the Sudanese government quietly mobilized for a campaign of retaliation. "This is a declaration of war," Dr. Ghazi Salahuedin, a top adviser to President al-Bashir and the parliamentary leader of the ruling National Congress Party, told TIME.
Moreno-Ocampo insists that he is merely a prosecutor and that it is up to the ICC's judges, who are based in the Hague in the Netherlands, to issue an arrest warrant for al-Bashir. Sudan's government, however, has no intention of arguing its case in court. Whether the prosecutor likes it or not, the battle he faces will be intensely political. At risk is not just al-Bashir's reign or peace in Darfur, but the court itself.
While Sudan's U.N. ambassador says his country will not retaliate against the U.N., high-ranking and influential officials in Khartoum indicate otherwise. On Monday, Sudan's Vice President, Ali Osman Taha, said al-Bashir personally conveyed the warning to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Sudan is "fully committed to all of our obligations," he said, quoting Bashir, "but if they take any step that will jeopardize the Sudanese government, we will make our move." Salahuedin, one of al-Bashir's top advisers, laid out what the moves might be: an escalating menu of reprisals, including kicking out humanitarian organizations, declaring prominent Western diplomats persona non grata and even dismissing U.N. and African Union peacekeepers. "Send them out," Salahuedin said, "because the U.N. has declared us Public Enemy No. 1. Why shouldn't we?"
Read the rest at the link posted up-top.
Who knows what else they'll do. If the ICC gets taken out, there will be no means to try war-criminals via international law. Then who will put Bush and Cheney on trial after their term in office is over?
"Should I disappear, die mysteriously, commit suicide, get a heart-attack, cancer, or some incurable disease, or end up arrested under a bunch of bogus charges you know who to blame for it."