Special Report: One Year Later – Will Sudan’s Omar al Bashir Finally be Held Accountable?
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What is it?
- Just over a year ago, Omar al Bashir was ousted as president of Sudan, some 21 years after he seized power. Women played an enormous role in leading and organizing the peaceful protests and sit-ins which led many calling it the “Women’s Revolution.”
- During his reign, Bashir was linked to countless human rights violations including the 2004 Darfur genocide which left over 400,000 civilians dead and roughly 2.7 million homeless. He was later charged by the International Criminal Court (ICC) with crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide.
- Under Bashir’s rule, the United States designated Sudan a state sponsor of terrorism for its ties to terrorist attacks on the USS Cole in 2000 and the 1998 U.S. embassy attacks in Kenya and Tanzania.
Why is it important?
- Last year’s revolution was important in the context of American security because Sudan has been on the U.S. state sponsor of terrorism list since 1993. A pivot towards a free and accountable democracy is the first step towards building stability and fighting terrorism in the region.
- Sudan has also agreed to pay families of the victims of the terrorist attack on the USS Cole in 2000 in order ease sanctions and be removed from the terrorist list.
- In February 2020, BBC reported Sudan’s transitional council signaled that it would hand Bashir over to the ICC.
- Sudan’s transition to democracy bodes well for African women across the continent and demonstrates that women are demanding more leadership roles – breaking male-dominated politics.
- It is essential that the transitional government continues to carry out its mandate and successfully usher Sudan into a peaceful democracy.
- In response to a COVID-19 outbreak, on April 13, a lockdown was imposed in Khartoum. This has added to preexisting fears of denial and misinformation but despite the dangers posed by the global COVID-19 pandemic, the ongoing peace process must not be derailed.
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