The International Criminal Court has described the likely reelection of Sudan’s president Mr. Omar al-Bashir as a Hitler election. The Sudanese legislative, regional and presidential elections, scheduled for April 11 to 13, are a key part of the 2005 peace accord that ended two decades of civil war between the country’s largely Muslim north and the Christian south.
The remarks were made by ICCs chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, on Tuesday during a press conference in Brussels.
According to Mr. Moreno-Ocampo, the European Union’s observers on the ground are facing “a big challenge. It’s like monitoring a Hitler election.”
In February an ICC appeals chamber ordered a review of al-Bashir’s arrest warrant for alleged atrocities in the war-torn western Sudanese province of Darfur. It urged judges to reconsider their decision to omit genocide from the warrant issued in March last year, saying they had made an error in law.
Earlier this week, Mr. al-Bashir threatened United States-funded election observers, Carter Center, with expulsion and attacks, should elections scheduled for April 11 be postponed by Carter Center the only long-term supervising mission in Sudan.
Carter Center has sited such reasons as inadequate security of civilians, chronic instability in the south and a continuing refugee crisis in the Darfur region.
Reiterating the concerns of the Carter Center, Human Rights Watch said on Sunday that there was government [al-Bashir’s government] oppression of the opposition, and there was no freedom of speech and of the press which undermines the chances of holding a convincing ballot vote.
Mr. al-Bashir seized power in a bloodless coup in 1989, and is wanted by the ICC for war crimes in Darfur where hundreds of thousands of people still live in refugee camps after a separate conflict.
Mr. Moreno-Ocampo says it is the duty of the Sudanese government in the first place to arrest al-Bashir.
Despite the election being described as a Hitler election, Mr. Bashir who has been elected as president twice in ballots which were largely boycotted by most opposition parties, remains well-liked in the north of the country and so is expected to be re-elected as president for a third term.