Why Chad Refuses to Arrest the Architect of the Darfur Genocide

>This week, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is in Chad for a regional summit, and human rights groups are pleading for his arrest. Bashir presided over the conflict in Darfur, where an estimated 300,000 people were killed and over 2.5 million displaced. He is wanted by the International Criminal Court for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.

As a signatory to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Chad has the unique opportunity to follow through with its pledge and apprehend one of the most evil tyrants the world over without a drop of blood being shed. According to BBC News Africa, however, Chad rejects its responsibility, accusing the ICC of targeting only African officials for prosecution. The report continues:

The ICC's chief prosecutor rejects the accusation of bias against Africa, saying not only are the worst crimes being committed in the continent, but the victims are also African.

The African Union and the Arab League have always opposed the ICC's decision to issue the arrest warrants issued over the conflict in Darfur.

Chad's ambassador Ahmat Mahamat Bashir said it was merely following the AU's lead, despite a storm of protest from human rights groups.

"We are with the rule of law and everybody has to pay for his mistakes and for any crime he commits but when it will be selectively and targeting only African leaders it should not be accepted," he told the BBC's World Today programme.

He said there were many other leaders who deserved to be treated in the same way as Mr Bashir but he declined to name them.

Bashir came to power in a military coup that introduced Sharia Law and purged political opposition. He then armed Arab militias that proceeded to exterminate Sudan's population of black African civilians.

U.S. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley conspicuously avoided calling for Bashir's arrest, but said that U.S. officials "strongly support international efforts to bring those responsible for genocide and war crimes in Darfur to justice."

Upon arrival in Chad's capital of N'djamena, Bashir was presented with a key to the city.

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David W. Brown is the coauthor of The Command: Deep Inside the President's Secret Army and Deep State: Inside the Government Secrecy Industry. Generally published under the pseudonym D.B. Grady, Brown is a graduate of Louisiana State University, a former U.S. Army paratrooper, and a veteran of Afghanistan. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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