For all those who submitted questions for the ICC Prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo, his answers are now available in podcast form. There wasn’t time to cover all your questions, but I got in those that you asked repeatedly – such as why the Bashir arrest warrant wasn’t issued under seal (I find his response to this persuasive), and what citizens can do to support the enforcement of the ICC arrest warrant (as you would expect – tell your reps you want to see the Court’s decision respected).
You will hear the prosecutor’s frustration that the advocacy community is being diverted and divided by issues peripheral to the one that matters most – the situation for the people in Darfur today. After we finished recording he took me to task for wasting energy getting caught up in the discussion on Mamdani’s latest book, and we talked about how the fear of being seen as neo-colonialist affects the positions advocates are willing to take.
In the prosecutor’s words:
The biggest impediment to peace and justice in Darfur has a name – it’s Omar al Bashir. It’s very clear – the Sudan has to arrest him. We are not asking for regime change. We are asking the same regime to arrest Mr Bashir…it will take time, but they will do it as soon as Mr. Bashir faces a united international community… but he is a master of divide [sic]… he divides the people in Darfur…he divides the international community…
Bec Hamilton is a fellow at the Open Society Institute and is writing a book on the impact of citizen advocacy on Darfur policy.