Arrest warrant issued for Sudanese President

16 February 2009



In an historic first, the International Criminal Court is expected to issue a warrant for the arrest of the President of Sudan,   Omar al-Bashir on genocide charges.

In an interview  on  the ABC Radio Current Affairs program  PM,  Dr Ben Saul argues such an act would raise some unprecedented possibilities and would also be a significant gamble.

"The (UN) Security Council could order some kind of peace enforcement mission, which was more robust than the one that currently exists," Dr Saul said.
"That could include a mandate to the security forces, a multinational force in Sudan, to seek out and arrest the head of state of Sudan.
"That would be a pretty extraordinary step; in my view it would be unlikely to happen.

"If a head of state knows that he's going to be put on trial for war crimes or crimes against humanity and probably get a life sentence in prison, then he's going to be much, much more reluctant to give up power.
"He's going to try and hang on to power as long as possible, possibly fight harder, fight dirtier and in the end it could in fact worsen the violence which is occurring against Sudanese civilians."

To view the entire transcript -  Arrest warrant issued for Sudanese President 

Contact: Dr Ben Saul

Phone: +61 2 9351 0202

Email: 11100c2c45101254180e57333f3a5b71064a2e104c110b23010a10