Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bye Bye NGOs, Hello Criminal President

As I have mentioned before on this blog, one of the programs I work on is with the SPLA (Southern Sudan Army). I spoke with one of my counterparts there the day after the ICC indictment was announced, and he has taken to calling Bashir "our Criminal President" because "we can no longer just call him President." I want to talk to him more about how the announcement is being perceived in the SPLA, and what is happening internally, as I don't really have a sense of the effects on the Southern government.

It looks like Plum Face's comment to my previous post held water (hi Beatrice!!!). Bashir has started to react to his indictment by taking it out on the rest of the international community. And how to do that? Kick out all the International NGOs providing relief in Sudan. A couple weeks ago Bashir expelled 13 NGOs from Darfur accusing them of spying for the ICC, leaving millions of people without food, water, shelter, or healthcare, and yesterday he held a press conference where he said he has given orders for all NGOs to leave Sudan within one year. However, not to worry, the Sudanese Government will handle everything. The exact quote was:

"If they [the international organizations] want to continue providing aid, they can just leave it at the airports or seaports and Sudanese NGOs can distribute the relief."

Well that's all settled then, nothing to worry about. Sure, the head of state accused of war crimes is going to ensure the people he was accused of betraying are going to be taken care of. Absolutely. Because the reason why they were there in the first place of course had nothing to do with the host government not having the capacity to do it themselves.

Not to worry, I'm not out of a job quite yet, this will only apply to Darfur and the North. At least that's what we're being told so far.

It will be impossible to measure the ramifications of the ICC indictment, both positive and negative. How can you tell how many lives were saved, or what would have happened? Too many what if's. What we are now stuck with is the knowledge that millions of people will suffer, to avenge the millions more that suffered before them. Justice?

1 comment:

PlumFace said...

Thanks for the shout out! And a very thoughtful post.