No more excuses. No more denial. This week, the international criminal court issued an arrest warrant for three charges of genocide against the president of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir. The world once claimed ignorance of the Nazi atrocities. Fifty years later, the world refused to recognise an unfolding genocide in Rwanda. On Darfur, the world is now officially on notice.
The genocide is not over. Bashir's forces continue to use different weapons to commit genocide: bullets, rape and hunger. For example, the court found that Bashir's forces have raped on a mass scale in Darfur. They raped thousands of women and used these rapes to degrade family and community members. Parents were forced to watch as their daughters were raped.
The court also found that Bashir is deliberately inflicting on the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups living conditions calculated to bring about their physical destruction. Millions of Darfuris are living in camps for displaced persons and, at the disposal of Bashir's forces, experiencing an ongoing genocide. They are helpless, voiceless and with no hope for the future. Darfuris need other voices to help end a genocide that should have been stopped years ago. We can still stop it but we must stop it now. The court's recent decision could provide a last chance for the world to react properly, to transform "never again" from a promise into a reality.
The Guardian By Luis Moreno-Ocampo