Sudan/ICC: Enough Said
I rarely use this blog to give a platform for ‘Enough’ but on this occasion I thought it right to give some prominence to the creative writings of the campaign’s leadership.
In a report published a month ago, ‘Enough’ speculated about what the ICC arrest warrant for President Bashir might mean. It put its hope for an opening for peace and increased international leverage in what it discerned as “a growing fissure between Bashir’s loyalists and potentially more pragmatic elements of the NCP [that] could lead to the president’s removal.” In plain language: a coup.
‘Enough’ clearly favored the combination of Vice President Ali Osman Taha and intelligence chief Salah Abdalla Gosh as the leaders of their proposed coup, arguing that they “have shown willingness to work with the international community. Taha was the NCP’s point person in negotiating the CPA, and Gosh has become the United States’ favored interlocutor on counterterrorism. Within a ruling party increasingly focused on its own survival, Bashir may become a sacrificial lamb for a party in search of more pragmatic leadership.”
A few days later, Salah Gosh spoke for himself, “Our message to those who stand behind the ICC is that we were Islamic fundamentalists but have become moderate and civilized and this continues to be our conviction. If they press us to return to our past position, we will no doubt return. And if they want us to return into hard-liners anew, that is a simple thing to do. And we are capable of doing it.” (AP, ‘Sudan official warns over indicting president,’ February 21, 2009). He went on to say, that Sudan would protect civilians and the staff of international organizations as long as they do not stray beyond roles defined in agreements with Sudan’s government, “But whoever contradicts this or tries to trespass the marked boundaries, they have only themselves to blame.”
When the arrest warrant was issued, John Prendergast said it made “Sudan’s prospects for peace riper than they have been in memory.”