The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court filed genocide charges Monday against Sudan's president, accusing him of masterminding attempts to wipe out African tribes in Darfur with a campaign of murder, rape and deportation.
Luis Moreno-Ocampo asked a three-judge panel at the International Criminal Court to issue an arrest warrant for President Omar al-Bashir to prevent the slow deaths of some 2.5 million people forced from their homes in Darfur and still under attack from government-backed janjaweed militia.
"Genocide is a crime of intention - we don't need to wait until these 2.5 million die," he said in an interview with The Associated Press.
"The genocide is ongoing," he added, saying systematic rape was a key element of the campaign. "Seventy-year-old women, 6-year-old girls are raped," he said.
The lack of action on the part of the US and the rest of the world with regards to Darfur is one of the great failures of this decade. Arresting and trying al-Bashir starts a process of rectifying this failure. What should come next is a unified attempt to redress the horrors of Darfur and stabilize the region.
Moreno-Ocampo was undeterred by concern that his indictment against Al-Bashir might ignite a storm of vengeance against Darfur refugees and lead to the closing of Sudan's doors to relief agencies and possibly peacekeeping troops.
"I am a prosecutor doing a judicial case," he said.
Al-Bashir "wants to end the history of the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa people. I don't have the luxury to look away. I have evidence," the prosecutor said in a statement.
Strong stuff. Where the hell is our State Department, by the way? I read this story from CNN.com and there's no mention of the US State Department. There's a casual mention that we have "characterized" what is going on as genocide. Well, what the fuck are we doing about it? That's my question.