Darfur Drama

Genocide charges were filed against Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for a five-year campaign of violence in the country’s Darfur region in the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the Hague. This development is a very interesting one. Though this is not the first of its case, it is properly the first time for the ruling president of a sovereign nation. Chances are rare for al-Bashir’s arrest. ICC functions under the UN jurisdiction. Russia and China will not allow such dramatic measure.

From the geopolitical point of view, there are two issues involved. One is whether international community has the right to intervene in the affairs of independent countries and bring ‘justice’. The second issue is the fight to control Africa.

The first issue. There is no doubt that Darfur has been going through a rough phase. President al-Bashir has been blamed for the killings there. The intervention of international community may be justified in such scenario. But does the ICC have the authority? ICC rules claim, it “will not act if a case is investigated or prosecuted by a national judicial system unless the national proceedings are not genuine”. Who decides whether the national proceedings are genuine or not?

We all know that the UN is largely promoted and controlled by the five super powers. So if Sudan was to become a reference point, the five super power in the disguise of the UN can interfere into the matters of any nation. Take the examples in our own nation, the killings in Gujarat or the Sikh massacres could call for same measures.

The second angle – Africa. The question also arises – why is the West suddenly so interested in the problems of Africa. Genocide are happening in other places like Pakistan or Myanmar. It happened in our own country. Why Africa?

George W Bush said in an interview to BBC, “I’ve got a firm, heartfelt commitment to the continent of Africa and have ever since I became president. General interest – national interest that we have people who are suffering from disease and hunger and hopelessness.” Really?? His government declared the killings in Darfur genocide. Has he ever thought about the killing in Chechnya or Middle East? or the thousands killed in Iraq?

The focus of the world is shifting from Middle East to Africa. The ‘dark’ continent is the place where lies the potential for future growth. China has already made deep inroads. The West is worried. It needs issues to interfere. Mugabe or al-Bashir are just another excuse to enter Africa.

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