Overthrow of the Sudanese dictator Omar Hassan al Bashir
A mass murderer steps down – Sudan's problems remain (Press Release)
According to the Göttingen-based human rights organization Society for Threatened Peoples (STP), the overthrow of Sudanese President Omar Hassan al Bashir was an "impressive victory for an often underrated peaceful protest movement". STP-director Ulrich Delius stated that "…a mass murderer is now leaving the world stage – after having fueled armed conflicts for 30 years, only to consolidate his power. He is responsible for the death of millions of people. Most of his victims didn't get killed by force of arms, but due to targeted measures to starve out conflict regions." Today, the Sudanese army announced his removal and the appointment of an interim government, controlled by the army.
The STP also welcomes the announced release of political prisoners. At the same time, the human rights organization criticized the establishment of a military government. The months-long demonstrations were mainly organized by associations, supported by the civil society – and they want a civilian government, not a new military regime. "The hundreds of thousands of demonstrators, mostly women, demanded more democracy, human rights, and social justice. The army must hear their calls and organize new elections soon," the STP demanded.
Bashir had been holding on to power for three decades – with an iron fist and a great deal of tactical skill. Despite many documented crimes, Germany helped him to consolidate his regime for many years, as a means to hold back refugees and migrants. His most important supporters, however, were the Arab states – again and again.
The ousted dictator is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes committed in Darfur since 2003. Apparently, the United Nations stopped counting after the number of victims reached 400,000 in the region in western Sudan. According to the STP, the actual number is significantly higher. As early as in the 1990s, Bashir was responsible for genocide crimes against the Nuba people (who traditionally live in the Nuba Mountains), with more than 500,000 victims. Hundreds of thousands of people were starved out in the conflict regions of South Sudan, the Nuba Mountains, the Blue Nile region, and eastern Sudan. These crimes against humanity were not prosecuted by the ICC.
Header Image: United Nation Photo via Flickr.