Sudanese President Charged with Genocide

Learn more about the genocide in Darfur

Sudanese President Charged with Genocide for Orchestrating Ethnic Cleansing in Darfur

THE HAGUE, Netherlands, July 30, 2008-- As part of the international effort to stop the genocide in Darfur, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court filed genocide charges against Sudan's president for a five-year campaign of violence in Darfur. It is the first time that a charge like this was made by the court against a residing head of state.

News that arrives from some African countries continues to be a cause of profound suffering and real worry. I ask you not to forget these tragic occurrences and our brothers and sisters who are involved! I ask you to pray for them and to be their voice! Darfur, notwithstanding some momentary glimmers, remains an endless tragedy for hundreds of thousands of defenceless people abandoned to themselves.
Pope Benedict XVI, 27 April 2008

This unprecedented legal move was taken in an effort to prevent the deaths of approximately 2.5 million people who were forced out of their homes in Darfur and who are under attack from government-financed militia- the Janjaweed.

President Omar Hassan al-Bashir was charged with genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The charges include using a rebel insurgency as an excuse for ethnic cleansing of three tribes in Darfur conducted through state military through a campaign of mass rape, murder, and deportation. The campaign resulted in the displacement of about 2.5 million people and deaths of about 400,000 people, mostly civilians.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is an independent, permanent court that tries persons accused of the most serious crimes of international concern. The ICC is based on a treaty joined by 106 countries. Sudan refuses to recognize the ICC as legitimate, and President al-Bashir denies all charges.

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