Bashir Sweeps Sudanese Elections
Omar al-Bashir has extended his quarter-century rule of Sudan after a dubiously run election that saw him win 94 percent of the presidential vote, and his National Congress Party win 323 of 426 parliamentary seats. The international community must not forget the victims of genocide, and an ICC warrant for his arrest remains in force.
Sudan gained independence from the UK in 1956. For most of the following fifty years the country was riven by a vicious civil war – between the mainly Arab Muslim north and the predominantly African and Christian south – culminating in the now notorious violence in the Darfur region of Sudan in 2003, which many now believe included acts of genocide.
In 2005, the war that had left more two million dead and forced over four million to flee their homes was ended by a comprehensive peace agreement between the Sudanese government in Khartoum and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in the south. Six years later, the mainly African south voted overwhelmingly for independence and the state of South Sudan was born.
When South Sudan broke away, President Al-Bashir announced his intention to make Sudan a ‘Uniﬁed Arab Islamic State’. The Islamist regime in Khartoum began to target communities that had not supported the government during the war: non-Arab peoples remaining in Sudan since the referendum – including the African populations in the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile – have been attacked. Markets, schools, and gatherings of civilians have been targeted. As a result, they cannot plant or harvest crops and no aid is allowed in. The government is essentially starving the population.
René Cassin brought international attention to Darfur in 2005 at the United Nations Human Rights Commission (now the Council).