Today, March 18 was to be the fourth time Chad would receive Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir since two warrants were issued for his arrest by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 2009 and 2010. He was scheduled to attend the Greenbelt Conference of Sahel-Saharan States in Chad’s capital; however, late yesterday, it was confirmed that this conference has been postponed, which means your voices were heard, and Chad will not receive Bashir for now. But the work is not done, and the IJP and its coalition of NGOs will continue to protest Bashir’s impunity.
To continue to SPEAK OUT against Bashir’s impunity, join IJP, Aegis Trust, Amnesty International, Coalition for the ICC, and United to End Genocide in the BashirWatch Campaign. Our Rapid Response Network goes into action upon notice of Bashir’s upcoming travels and says, “No more” to impunity.
This postponement is an encouraging sign in our continuous collaborative efforts in apprehending Bashir, as he has evaded arrest for far too long. With your support through the BashirWatch Rapid Response Network, we have let countries like Chad know that they must uphold their legal and moral obligations as members of the ICC.
As a country of strategic importance and influence in the region, it is absolutely imperative that the Chadian government not only demonstrate its commitment to upholding its responsibilities as a state party to the ICC, but its commitment to regional stability and security through ensuring its support for civilian protection and justice for victims of atrocities in neighboring Sudan.
If Chad were to once again welcome President Bashir, its signal to the international community – and more importantly to the Sudanese people – would be devastating and almost irrevocable. In the past, Chad has failed to live up to its obligations under the ICC to arrest Bashir, giving it the dubious distinction of being the ICC member that has welcomed Bashir more than any other since the issuance of the arrest warrants. We must continue to call on Chad and other states to stop Bashir’s impunity.
Despite Chad’s marred record, this postponement of the Greenbelt Conference shows progress, and most importantly, provides us with additional opportunity to tell the Chadian government that it should not welcome Bashir ever. If it does so, it should arrest and transfer him to the ICC, where he may at long last confront and answer to his alleged criminal actions.
We should not allow this opportune moment to further demand justice for countless victims to escape us. We thank you for your continued support, and hope that we may continue to act together.
Bashir should not be welcomed anywhere, anytime—Sign up at BashirWatch (www.bashirwatch.org)!
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Read Congressional Letter sent to Secretary of State John Kerry here.
Read BashirWatch’s Letter to President Deby here–14 March 2013 Joint Letter to Chad Pres Deby on Bashir Visit.