There were great signs of unity from President Bashir’s National Congress Party, or NCP, in the immediate wake of the arrest warrant from The Hague. That was to be expected. Now we are starting to hear rumors that the inner circle in Khartoum is getting a bit more wobbly. It makes sense. (Don’t be fooled by their public statements. These guys will proclaim their undying loyalty to Bashir even as they drive him to the airport for a flight to The Hague.)
With the decision to kick key relief agencies out of Darfur and elsewhere across the country, Bashir is making clear that he intends to keep committing war crimes and crimes against humanity. However, this also increases the likelihood over time that international charges will be brought against other members of Bashir’s government and the whole regime will be increasingly isolated. While Bashir may feel that he has nothing to lose, those immediately around him now realize that they have more and more to lose by clinging to their failed leader. Don’t look for dramatic change over night, but Bashir’s real estate is shrinking. Somewhat sadly, Bashir’s most enduring loyalists may prove to be the arm chair analysts in New York and Washington who have made a cottage industry out of being critical of international justice, activism, or any forward leaning efforts to actually end a crisis rather than simply managing its consequences.