Since 2008, Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Luis Moreno Ocampo has been seeking the arrest of Lieutenant General Omar Hassan Ahmad Al-Bashir for his alleged involvement in genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed since 2003 in Darfur. He might want to pop in on the United Nations Human Rights Council — Al-Bashir is about to be one of its members.
He is a central player in the alleged genocide and ethnic cleansing in Darfur, including hiding mass graves, arresting witnesses, and taking other steps to cover up the mass killings. The ethnic cleansing was largely by the Janjaweed (“devils on horseback”) militia with up to 400,000 deaths.
The Human Right Council has long been an international joke as countries with ongoing war crimes and human rights violations have assumed the chairperson position or served as members. Some countries have used positions on the Council to denounce human rights.
Now the addition of Al-Bashir will add the final outrage and irony to the Council. There is an outstanding warrant for his arrest but Sudan will be added to the Council because only five African countries are competing for five slots.
Sudan will then serve a three-year term. Human rights advocates are also crying foul over the candidacies of Venezuela and Pakistan.
Sudan can get pointers on the Council for its fellow Human Rights protectors Iran, Zimbabwe and Syria.