After decades of jihad, annihilation and enslavements, as well as war crimes, President Bashir was ousted in a coup. Back in 2009, “a defiant President Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan lambasted the West for his indictment on war crimes charges.” Nothing was ever done. Sadly, it wasn’t Bashir’s monstrous savagery that led to his ouster but growing protests against food shortages and rising prices, which quickly became a mass movement across Sudan. Protest organizers estimated that hundreds of thousands of people had gathered, eclipsing earlier demonstrations.
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) April 11, 2019
One worrisome sign over the weekend was the increased presence in Khartoum of the janjaweed, notorious jihad militias that were blamed for atrocities in the conflict in Darfur. The Sudanese government has reconstituted them as the Rapid Support Forces.
For a time in the 1990s, Sudan hosted Osama bin Laden. And Mr. al‑Bashir is the only current leader of a nation to be wanted by the International Criminal Court. The court has indicted him on charges of crimes against humanity and genocide, accusing him of playing “an essential role” in atrocities in Darfur, a region in western Sudan.
The New York Times reported:
Saturday, marchers were able to approach the army headquarters, meeting far less resistance than expected. As the protest continued into Sunday, thousands more people streamed in, swelling its numbers.
There was some violence and reports of about five deaths — mainly in Khartoum and mainly from gunfire — related to the protests.
Still, activists said that the protesters had been met with less violence than some had anticipated, and that the general mood among the protesters was joyous. And some protesters found that once they were near army headquarters, some soldiers shielded them.
“The military guys are protecting us from other government bodies,” a participant who gave only his first name, Elsamawal, said by phone on Sunday.
Elsamawal, 32, who works in sales, said he watched as an argument unfolded between uniformed soldiers and officers from the National Intelligence and Security Service.
“Some of the national security people were trying to stop people from reaching this area, but I saw the soldiers tell them not to touch the protesters, that they are going peacefully, and to let them go,” he said.
Largely non-Muslim, South Sudan was the recipient of the Bashir’s vicious jihad. After a long civil war, they fought and gained gain their independence in 2011.
The first warrant for arrest for Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir was issued on 4 March 2009, the second on 12 July 2010. In issuing the warrant, Pre-Trial Chamber I stated that there are reasonable grounds to believe that:
- From March, 2003 to at least 14 July 2008, a protracted armed conflict not of an international character existed in Darfur between the Government of Sudan (GoS) and several organised armed groups, in particular the Sudanese Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM).
- Soon after the April, 2003 attack on the El Fasher airport, Omar Al Bashir and other high-ranking Sudanese political and military leaders of the GoS agreed upon a common plan to carry out a counter-insurgency campaign against the SLM/A, the JEM and other armed groups opposing the Government of Sudan in Darfur.
- A core component of that campaign was the unlawful attack on part of the civilian population of Darfur – belonging largely to the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa groups – who were perceived to be close to the organised armed groups opposing the Government of Sudan in Darfur. The campaign was conducted through GoS forces, including the Sudanese Armed Forces and their allied Janjaweed militia, the Sudanese Police Forces, the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) and the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC). It lasted at least until the date of the filing of the Prosecution Application on 14 July 2008.
- During the campaign, GoS forces allegedly committed crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crimes of genocide, and in particular:
- carried out numerous unlawful attacks, followed by systematic acts of pillage, on towns and villages, mainly inhabited by civilians belonging to the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa groups;
- subjected thousands of civilians – belonging primarily to the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa groups – to acts of murder, as well as to acts of extermination;
- subjected thousands of civilian women – belonging primarily to the said groups – to acts of rape;
- subjected hundreds of thousands of civilians – belonging primarily to the said groups – to acts of forcible transfer;
- subjected civilians – belonging primarily to the said groups – to acts of torture; and
- contamined the wells and water pumps of the towns and villages primarily inhabited by members of the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa groups that they attacked; and encouraged members of other tribes, which were allied with the GoS, to resettle in the villages and lands previously mainly inhabited by members of the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa groups.
Sudan’s military ousts president in face of protests
MSN, April 10, 2019:
CAIRO — Sudan’s military ousted President Omar al-Bashir on Thursday, ending his 30 years in power in response to escalating popular protests. The defence minister announced military rule for two years, imposing an emergency clampdown that risks enflaming protesters who have demanded civilian democratic change.
Al-Bashir’s fall came just over a week after similar protests in Algeria forced the resignation of that North African nation’s long-ruling, military-backed president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika. Together, they represent a second generation of street protests eight years after the Arab Spring uprisings that ousted a number of long entrenched leaders around the Middle East.
But like those popular movements of 2011, the new protests face a similar dynamic — a struggle over the aftermath of the leader’s removal.
After the military’s announcement Thursday, protest organizers vowed to continue their rallies until a civilian transitional government is formed. Tens of thousands of protesters were massed Thursday at a sit-in they have been holding outside the military’s General Command headquarters in Khartoum.
The military’s coup Thursday brought an end to a president who came to power in a coup of his own in 1989, backed by the military and Islamist hard-liners, and who had survived multiple blows that could have brought him down.
Over his three decades in power, al-Bashir was forced to allow the secession of South Sudan after years of war, a huge blow to the north’s economy. He became notorious for a brutal crackdown on insurgents in the western Darfur region that made him an international pariah, wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes. The United States targeted his government repeatedly with sanctions and airstrikes for his support of Islamic militant groups.
Throughout, he maintained his swagger, famed for his on-stage appearances dancing with his cane before cheering crowds.
The protests that erupted in December have been the biggest challenge to his rule. They were initially fueled by anger over the deteriorating economy but quickly turned to demands for his ouster. They gained new momentum last week after Bouteflika’s resignation.
Word of al-Bashir’s removal first emerged in the morning. State TV announced that the military would make an “important statement” imminently and the nation should “wait for it.” Two officials high in the military and government told the Associated Press that al-Bashir had been ousted.
Thousands of protesters marched toward the centre of the capital Khartoum on Thursday, cheering, singing and dancing in celebration.
The announcement finally came hours later in the afternoon when Defence Minister Awad Mohammed Ibn Ouf appeared on state TV in military fatigues. He said the military had arrested al-Bashir.
“I the defence minister, the head of the Supreme Security Committee, announce the uprooting this regime, seizing its head, after detaining him in a safe place,” he said. He denounced al-Bashir’s government, saying the military and security agencies had long been observing its “bad administration, systemic corruption, absence of justice, the blocked horizon for all people especially the youth. The poor became poorer and the rich became richer. Hope in equality has been lost.”
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