Interesting peacekeeping news

The International Criminal Court issued a warrant for Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir.  I can’t find the text of the warrant on line as I write this although I imagine you will be able to find it at the ICC’s website by the time you read this.

From the BBC:

The spokeswoman for the court in The Hague, Laurence Blairon, said Mr Bashir was suspected of being criminally responsible for “intentionally directing attacks against an important part of the civilian population of Darfur, Sudan, murdering, exterminating, raping, torturing and forcibly transferring large numbers of civilians and pillaging their property”. The court would transmit as soon as possible to the government of Sudan a request for his arrest and surrender, she added.

Oh, snap!

Ok, a bit of a reality check here.  It’s not like this is going to play out like an episode of ‘Dog the Bounty Hunter‘ and Bashir can thumb his nose at the warrant and the ICC probably for the rest of his life.  But, he won’t be able to leave the country and harboring a war criminal (who’s a sitting head of state) will likely increase pressure on those countries *cough China cough* that do business with Sudan to disengage.

There is some risk that Bashir, having little left to lose and not being too worried that anyone will use force against his regime might find some freedom in the issuing of this warrant to tidy up perceived loose ends.

Top U.N. officials voiced fear that the arrest warrant might trigger an upsurge of violence in Darfur, including public protests and possible reprisals against thousands of international aid workers and peacekeepers stationed there.  They have also expressed concern that the decision may lead to war, citing the buildup of Sudanese forces along the border with neighboring Chad, which has backed one of Darfur’s strongest rebel groups.(WaPa)

In more ridiculous news, Cypriots are freaking out because UN peacekeepers are preventing them from harvesting wild asparagus which grows in the buffer zone seperating the Greek and Turkish parts of the island.

“This is unacceptable behaviour and I have demanded that action is taken,” said Nicos Kotziambashis, leader of the Greek Cypriot village of Mammari which has been particularly hit by the U.N. ban. “The situation is explosive.”

Really, I have no sympathy for the Cypriots.  Thirty five years and they can’t hammer out some sort of agreement?  If they want to act like children then they get treated like children.


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