The impending arrest of Sudan’s under-fire President Mr. Omar al-Bashir is set to divide the International community into two factions. While some western nations are demanding an immediate arrest of Mr. Bashir, to face charges for crimes against humanity, some eastern nations are pleading for more time to be granted. A year is what is being requested on behalf of Mr. Bashir.
However, the United States, Britain and France are eager to see the alleged perpetrator of the Darfur genocide brought to justice, but the Africa Union, the Arab League and China are less enthusiastic about Mr. Bashir’s arrest. To this regard, Egyptian leader, Mr. Mubarak has invited Mr. Bashir over for discussions after recently paying president Sarkozy a visit to solicit more time for Mr. Bashir.
The political players against an immediate arrest of the Sudanese president believe that his arrest would distort every effort that has been made so far towards peace in Sudan and the on-going dialogues with the rebel groups would be greatly affected, leaving the country in a quagmire. But the authorities who want Mr Bashir arrested argue that the sudden promise to call for a ceasefire declaration by Bashir’s government and the immediate rallying of minds in Khartoum by the Arab league of Nations is only an empty show of concern which is in response to the threat of indictment that may fall on Mr. Bashir.
Mr. Bashir has been accused of aiding and abetting the Arab Janjaweed militia in their plot to ethnically cleanse black Sudan and he is now wanted for crimes against humanity. However, Bashir may not be the only guilty party. In July of 2008, the BBC reported that they had found evidence of China helping Mr. Bashir’s government militarily in Darfur. The Panorama TV program was said to have tracked down Chinese army lorries in the Sudanese province that came from a batch exported from China to Sudan in 2005 and that China was training fighter pilots who fly Chinese A5 Fantan fighter jets in Darfur.
A United Nations embargo requires foreign nations to take measures to ensure they do not militarily assist anyone in the conflict in Darfur, where an estimated 400,000 people have died in the six-year long conflict and over two million displaced as pro-government Arab Janjaweed militia continue to ethnically cleanse black sudanese population of Darfur. Meanwhile, China is yet to respond to the BBC’s findings. Its public position is that it abides by all UN arms embargoes.