Sudan’s U.N. Ambassador Abdalmahmood Abdalhaleem Mohamad is on the defense again, this time responding to increasingly sharp rhetoric from the International Criminal Court and international criticism of the government’s crackdown on political opposition on Monday. The ambassador did not disappoint, as he yet again tried to rewrite history.
Speaking to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, Mohamad said with indignation that not only would Sudan never comply with an ICC warrant to hand over Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, but that the president should be credited with ending the North-South war in Sudan.
Mohamad strongly defended al-Bashir — the first sitting head of state to be indicted by the ICC — saying he is one of the best leaders in Africa. "He put an end to the longest civil war in Africa. The Security Council of the U.N. itself recognized and commended our president. He cannot overnight be a criminal, a war criminal."
Last night, the State Department and Special Envoy Major General Scott Gration released a statement condemning “the use of violence against and detentions of peaceful protestors and opposition political figures by Sudanese authorities.” In his response, Mohamad seemed to suggest that the arbitrary detention of political opposition is common practice around the world:
It is a very simple issue — an unlawful demonstration in which the government asked the organizers to seek permission. This happens everywhere in the world, here in the U.S., the UK, in Europe, Africa, and elsewhere.
Of course, Mohamad also couldn’t help doing some more name-calling.
What is going on in the United States is really amazing. He (Gration) is standing like a student listening to war-mongers telling him what to do in Sudan. We call for engagement, not confrontation.
These remarks from the Sudanese ambassador are extremely revealing, if only of a regime that is fiercely intransigent and buried deep in denial. A regime, in other words, that will do anything to hold onto power.
Photo: Sudan’s UN Ambassador, Abdalmahmood Abdalhaleem Mohamad.