Omar Hassan Ahmad al-
Bashir (Arabic: عمر حسن أحمد
البشير; pronunciation: [ba'ʃiːr]; born 1 January 1944)
is a Sudanese politician, the seventh president of
Sudan and head of
the National Congress Party. He came to power in 1989 when, as a
brigadier in the Sudanese Army, he led a group of officers in a
military coup that ousted the democratically elected government of
Sadiq al-Mahdi after it began negotiations with rebels
in the south. Since then, he has been elected three times as
President in elections that have been under scrutiny for
corruption. In March 2009, al-
Bashir became the first sitting
president to be indicted by the
International Criminal Court
International Criminal Court (ICC),
for allegedly directing a campaign of mass killing, rape, and pillage
against civilians in Darfur.
In October 2005, al-Bashir's government negotiated an end to the
Second Sudanese civil war, leading to a referendum in the South,
resulting in the separation of the south into the separate country of
South Sudan. In the
Darfur region, he oversaw the war in
has resulted in death tolls that are about 10,000 according to the
Sudanese Government, but most sources suggest between 200,000
and 400,000. During his presidency, there have been several
violent struggles between the
Janjaweed militia and rebel groups such
Sudanese Liberation Army
Sudanese Liberation Army (SLA) and the Justice and Equality
Movement (JEM) in the form of guerrilla warfare in the
The civil war has displaced over 2.5 million people out of a
total population of 6.2 million in Darfur and has created a
crisis in the diplomatic relations between
Sudan and Chad. The
Darfur lost the support from
Libya after the death of
Muammar Gaddafi and the collapse of his regime in 2011.
In July 2008, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court
(ICC), Luis Moreno Ocampo, accused al-
Bashir of genocide, crimes
against humanity, and war crimes in Darfur. The court issued an
arrest warrant for al-
Bashir on 4 March 2009 on counts of war crimes
and crimes against humanity, but ruled that there was insufficient
evidence to prosecute him for genocide. However, on 12 July
2010, the Court issued a second warrant containing three separate
counts. The new warrant, as with the first, were delivered to the
Sudanese government, which did not recognize it nor the ICC. The
indictments do not allege that
Bashir personally took part in such
activities. Instead, they say, he is "suspected of being criminally
responsible, as an indirect co-perpetrator". Some international
experts think it is unlikely that Ocampo has enough evidence. The
court's decision is opposed by the African Union, League of Arab
States, Non-Aligned Movement, and the governments of Russia and
1 Early and family life
2 Military career
3.1 Coup d'état
3.3 Tensions with Hassan Al-Turabi
3.4 Engagement with the U.S. and western countries
3.5 South Sudan
3.6 War in Darfur
3.7 Indictment by the ICC
3.8 Military intervention in Yemen
3.9 Allegations of corruption
3.10 African space agency
4 See also
6 External links
Early and family life
Bashir was born in Hosh Bannaga, just north of the capital,
Khartoum, to a family of
Arab descent. He belongs to Al-Bedairyya
Bedouin tribe belonging to the larger Ja'alin
Arab tribe in middle north of Sudan, in the past a
part of the Kingdom of
Egypt and Sudan. He received his primary
education there, and his family later moved to
Khartoum where he
completed his secondary education. Al-
Bashir is married to his cousin
Fatima Khalid. He also has a second wife named Widad Babiker Omer, who
had a number of children with her first husband Ibrahim Shamsaddin, a
member of the
Revolutionary Command Council for National Salvation who
had died in a helicopter crash. Al-
Bashir does not have any children
of his own.
Bashir joined the
Sudanese Army in 1960. Al-
Bashir studied at the
Egyptian Military Academy in
Cairo and also graduated from the Sudan
Military Academy in
Khartoum in 1966. He quickly rose through the
ranks and became a paratroop officer. Later, al-
Bashir served in the
Egyptian Army during the
Yom Kippur War
Yom Kippur War in 1973 against Israel.
In 1975, al-
Bashir was sent to the United
Arab Emirates as the
Sudanese military attaché. After his return home al-
Bashir was made a
garrison commander. In 1981, al-
Bashir returned to his paratroop
background when he became the commander of an armoured parachute
Main article: 1989 Sudanese coup d'état
When he returned to
Sudan as a colonel in the Sudanese Army, al-Bashir
led a group of army officers in ousting the unstable coalition
government of Prime Minister
Sadiq al-Mahdi in a bloodless military
coup on 30 June 1989. Under al-Bashir's leadership, the new
military government suspended political parties and introduced an
Islamic legal code on the national level. He then became Chairman
Revolutionary Command Council for National Salvation (a newly
established body with legislative and executive powers for what was
described as a transitional period), and assumed the posts of chief of
state, prime minister, chief of the armed forces, and minister of
defense. Subsequent to al-Bashir's promotion to the Chairman of
the Revolutionary Command Council for National Salvation, he allied
himself with Hassan al-Turabi, the leader of the National Islamic
Front, who along with al-
Bashir began institutionalizing
Sharia law in
the northern part of Sudan. Further on, al-
Bashir issued purges and
executions of people whom he alleged to be coup leaders in the upper
ranks of the army, the banning of associations, political parties, and
independent newspapers, as well as the imprisonment of leading
political figures and journalists.
Bashir arrives in the Southern capital Juba, 2011
On 16 October 1993, al-Bashir's powers increased when he appointed
himself President of the country, after which he disbanded the
Revolutionary Command Council for National Salvation and all other
rival political parties. The executive and legislative powers of the
council were later given to al-
Bashir completely. In the early
1990s, al-Bashir's administration gave the green light to float a new
Sudanese Dinar to replace the battered old Sudanese
Pound that had lost 90 percent of its worth during the turbulent
1980s, the currency was later changed back to Pounds but at a much
higher rate. He was later elected president (with a five-year term) in
the 1996 national election, where he was the only candidate by law to
run for election and
Hassan al-Turabi was elected to a seat in the
National Assembly where he served as speaker of the National Assembly
"during the 1990s." In 1998, al-
Bashir and the Presidential
Committee put into effect a new constitution, allowing limited
political associations in opposition to al-Bashir's National Congress
Party and his supporters to be formed, although these groups failed to
gain any significant access to governmental power until the Darfur
conflict became a subject. On 12 December 1999, al-
Bashir sent troops
and tanks against parliament and ousted Hassan al-Turabi, the speaker
of parliament, in a palace coup.
Bashir was elected president (with a five-year term) in the 1996
national election and
Hassan al-Turabi was elected to a seat in
the National Assembly where he served as speaker of the National
Assembly "during the 1990s." In 1998, al-
Bashir and the
Presidential Committee put into effect a new constitution, allowing
limited political associations in opposition to al-Bashir's National
Congress Party and his supporters to be formed. On 12 December 1999,
Bashir sent troops and tanks against parliament and ousted Hassan
al-Turabi, the speaker of parliament, in a palace coup.
He was reelected by popular vote for a five-year term in presidential
elections held 13–23 December 2000.
From 2005 to 2010 a transitional government was set up under a 2005
peace accord that ended more than two decades of north–south civil
war and saw the formation of a power-sharing agreement between Salva
SPLM and Al Bashir's National Congress Party (NCP).
In the first multi-party election, Al
Bashir was reelected president
in the 2010 presidential election; while Salva Kiir, the leader of
the former rebel
Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), won
re-election in the presidential poll in what was Sudan's
semi-autonomous southern region. These elections were agreed on
earlier in the 2005 peace accord that ended more than two decades of
north-south civil war.
Bashir won 68% of the popular vote in the 2010 election. However, the
election was marked by corruption, intimidation, and inequality.
Western observers, from the EU and the Carter Centre, criticised the
polls as "not meeting international standards." Candidates opposed to
SPLM said they were often detained, or stopped from campaigning.
Sudan Democracy First, an umbrella organisation in the north, put
forward what it called strong evidence of rigging by al-Bashir's
National Congress Party. The Sudanese Network for Democracy and
Elections (Sunde) spoke of harassment and intimidation in the south,
by the security forces of the SPLM.
Bashir has achieved economic growth in Sudan. This was pushed
further by the drilling and extraction of oil. However, economic
growth has not been shared by all. Headline inflation in 2012
approached the threshold of chronic inflation (period average 36%),
about 11 percentage points up from the budget projection of 2012
reflecting the combined effects of inflationary financing, the
depreciation of the exchange rate, and the continued removal of
subsidies, as well as high food and energy prices. This economic
downturn prompted cost of living riots that erupted into Arab
Spring-style anti-government demonstrations; also it aroused the
discontent of the Sudanese Worker's Trade Union Federation (SWTUF),
which threatened to hold nationwide strikes in support of higher
wages. The continued deterioration in the value of the Sudanese pound
(SDG) poses grave downside risks to already soaring inflation. This,
coupled with the economic slowdown, presents serious challenges to the
implementation of the approved Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy
Tensions with Hassan Al-Turabi
In the mid-1990s, a feud between al-
Bashir and al-Turabi began, mostly
due to al-Turabi's links to Islamic fundamentalist groups, as well as
allowing them to operate out of Sudan, even personally inviting Osama
bin Laden to the country. The United States had listed
Sudan as a
state sponsor of terrorism since 1993, mostly due to al-
Hassan al-Turabi taking complete power in the early 1990s.
U.S. firms have been barred from doing business in
1997. In 1998, the
Al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory
Al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory in
destroyed by a U.S. cruise missile strike because of its alleged
production of chemical weapons and links to al-Qaeda. However the U.S.
State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research wrote a report in
1999 questioning the attack on the factory, suggesting that the
connection to bin Laden was not accurate; James Risen reported in the
New York Times: "Now, the analysts renewed their doubts and told
Assistant Secretary of State
Phyllis Oakley that the C.I.A.'s evidence
on which the attack was based was inadequate. Ms. Oakley asked them to
double-check; perhaps there was some intelligence they had not yet
seen. The answer came back quickly: There was no additional evidence.
Ms. Oakley called a meeting of key aides and a consensus emerged:
Contrary to what the Administration was saying, the case tying Al
Shifa to Mr. bin Laden or to chemical weapons was weak."
After being re-elected president of
Sudan with a five-year-term in the
1996 election with 75.7 percent of the votes, al-
Bashir issued the
registration of legalised political parties in 1999 after being
influenced by al-Turabi. Rival parties such as the Liberal Democrats
Sudan and the Alliance of the Peoples' Working Forces, headed by
former Sudanese President Gaafar Nimeiry, were established and were
allowed to run for election against al-Bashir's National Congress
Party, however, they failed to achieve significant support, and
Bashir was re-elected President, receiving 86.5 percent of the vote
in the 2000 presidential election. At the legislative elections that
same year, al-Bashir's National Congress Party won 355 out of 360
seats, with al-Turabi as its chairman. However, after al-Turabi
introduced a bill to reduce the president's powers, prompting
Bashir to dissolve parliament and declare a state of emergency,
tensions began to rise between al-
Bashir and al-Turabi. Reportedly,
al-Turabi was suspended as Chairman of National Congress Party, after
he urged a boycott of the President's re-election campaign. Then, a
splinter-faction led by al-Turabi, the Popular National Congress Party
(PNC) signed an agreement with
Sudan People's Liberation Army, which
Bashir to believe that they were plotting to overthrow him and
Further on, al-Turabi's influence and that of his party's
"'internationalist' and ideological wing" waned "in favor of the
'nationalist' or more pragmatic leaders who focus on trying to recover
from Sudan's disastrous international isolation and economic damage
that resulted from ideological adventurism." At the same time
Sudan worked to appease the United States and other international
critics by expelling members of
Egyptian Islamic Jihad and encouraging
bin Laden to leave.
On al-Bashir's orders, al-Turabi was imprisoned based on allegations
of conspiracy in 2000 before being released in October 2003. He
was again imprisoned in the Kober (Cooper) prison in
Khartoum in March
2004. He was released on 28 June 2005, at the height of the peace
agreement in the civil war.
Engagement with the U.S. and western countries
Bashir and U.S. deputy secretary of state Robert Zoellick, 2005
From the early 1990s when
Bashir assumed power, his regime was at odds
with larger U.S. foreign policy in the region.
its invasion of
Kuwait and was accused of harboring and providing
sanctuary and assistance to Islamic terrorist groups. From the early
1990s, Carlos the Jackal, Osama bin Laden,
Abu Nidal and other United
States' and allies labeled 'terrorist leaders' resided in Khartoum.
Sudan's role in the radical Pan-
Arab Islamic Conference, spearheaded
by Hassan al-Turabi, represented a matter of great concern to the
security of American officials and dependents in Khartoum, resulting
in several reductions and evacuations of U.S. personnel from Khartoum
in the early to mid 1990s.
Sudan's Islamist links with international terrorist organizations
represented a special matter of concern for the U.S. government,
leading to Sudan's 1993 designation as a state sponsor of terrorism
and a suspension of U.S. Embassy operations in
Khartoum in 1996. In
late 1994, in an initial effort to reverse his nation's growing image
throughout the world as a terrorist-harboring country,
cooperated with French special forces to orchestrate the capture and
arrest on Sudanese soil of Carlos the Jackal.
Sudan's offer of and request for counter-terrorism assistance, April
In early 1996,
Bashir authorized his Defense Minister at the time, El
Fatih Erwa, to make a series of secret trips to the United States
to hold talks with US officials, including officers of the
United States Department of State
United States Department of State about US sanctions policy against
Sudan and what measures might be taken by the
Bashir regime to remove
the sanctions. Erwa was presented with a series of demands from the
United States, including demands for information about Osama bin Laden
and other radical Islamic groups. The US demand list also encouraged
Bashir's regime to move away from activities, such as hosting the
"PAIC" Islamic Conference, that impinged on Sudanese efforts to
reconcile with the West. Sudan's Mukhabarat (central intelligence
agency) spent half a decade amassing intelligence data on bin Laden
and a wide array of Islamists through their periodic annual visits for
the PAIC conferences. In May 1996, after the series of Erwa secret
meetings on US soil, the Clinton Administration demanded that Sudan
expel bin Laden.
Controversy erupted about whether
Sudan had offered to extradite bin
Laden in return for rescinding US sanctions that were interfering with
Sudan's plans to develop oil fields in southern areas of the country.
US officials insisted the secret meetings were agreed only to pressure
Sudan into compliance on a range of anti-terrorism issues. The
Sudanese insisted that an offer to extradite bin Laden had been made
in a secret one-on-one meeting at a Fairfax hotel between Erwa and the
CIA Africa Bureau chief on condition that Washington end
sanctions against Bashir's regime. Amb.
Timothy M. Carney
Timothy M. Carney attended one
of the Fairfax hotel meetings. In a joint opinion piece in the
Washington Post Outlook Section in 2003, Carney and Ijaz argued that
in fact the Sudanese had offered to extradite bin Laden to a third
country in exchange for sanctions relief
In August 1996, American hedge-fund manager
Mansoor Ijaz traveled to
Sudan and met with senior officials including Turabi and Bashir.
Ijaz asked Sudanese officials to share intelligence data with US
officials on bin Laden and other Islamists who had traveled to and
Sudan during the previous five years. Ijaz conveyed his
findings to US officials upon his return, including Sandy Berger, then
Clinton's deputy national security adviser, and argued for the US to
constructively engage the Sudanese and other Islamic countries. In
April 1997, Ijaz persuaded
Bashir to make an unconditional offer of
counterterrorism assistance in the form of a signed presidential
letter that Ijaz delivered to Congressman
Lee H. Hamilton
Lee H. Hamilton by hand.
In October 1997, months after the Sudanese overture (made by
the letter to Hamilton), the U.S. State Department, under Sec. of
State Madeleine Albright's directive, first announced it would return
US diplomats to
Khartoum to pursue counterterrorism data in the
Mukhabarat's possession, and then within days, reversed that decision
and imposed harsher and more comprehensive economic, trade, and
financial sanctions against the Sudan. In August 1998, in the wake of
the East Africa embassy bombings, the U.S. launched cruise missile
strikes against Khartoum. The last U.S. Ambassador to the Sudan,
Ambassador Tim Carney, departed post prior to this event and no new
ambassador has been designated since. The U.S. Embassy is headed by a
Bashir announced in August 2015 that he would travel to New York in
September to speak at the United Nations. It is unclear to date if
Bashir will be allowed to travel, due to previous sanctions.
Main article: Second Sudanese Civil War
South Sudanese independence referendum, 2011
Civil war had raged between the northern and southern halves of the
country for more than 19 years between the northern
Arab tribes and
southern African tribes, but the war soon effectively developed into a
struggle between the
Sudan People's Liberation Army and al-Bashir's
government. The war resulted in millions of southerners being
displaced, starved, and deprived of education and health care, with
almost two million casualties. Because of these actions, various
international sanctions were placed on Sudan. International pressure
intensified in 2001, however, and leaders from the United Nations
called for al-
Bashir to make efforts to end the conflict and allow
humanitarian and international workers to deliver relief to the
southern regions of Sudan. Much progress was made throughout 2003.
The peace was consolidated with the official signing by both sides of
Nairobi Comprehensive Peace Agreement 9 January 2005, granting
Sudan autonomy for six years, to be followed by a referendum
about independence. It created a co-vice president position and
allowed the north and south to split oil deposits equally, but also
left both the north's and south's armies in place. John Garang, the
south's peace agreement appointed co-vice president died in a
helicopter crash on 1 August 2005, three weeks after being sworn
in. This resulted in riots, but the peace was eventually
re-established and allowed the southerners to vote in a referendum
of independence at the end of the six-year period. On 9 July 2011,
following a referendum, the region of Southern
Sudan separated into an
independent country known as South Sudan.
War in Darfur
Main article: War in Darfur
Series of droughts in
Darfur led to disputes over land between
Arab sedentary farmers and
Since 1968, Sudanese politicians had attempted to create separate
factions of "Africans" and "Arabs" in the western area of Darfur, a
difficult task as the population were substantially intermarried and
could not be distinguished by skin tone. This internal political
instability was aggravated by cross-border conflicts with Chad and
Libya and the 1984–85
Darfur famine In 2003, the rebel
Justice and Equality Movement
Justice and Equality Movement and the Sudanese Liberation Army,
accusing the government of neglecting
Darfur and oppressing non-Arabs
in favor of Arabs, began an armed insurgency.
Estimates vary of the number of deaths resulting from attacks on the
non-Arab/Arabized population by the
Janjaweed militia: the Sudanese
government claim that up to 10,000 have been killed in this conflict;
the United Nations reported that about 300,000 had died as of 2010,
and other reports place the figures at between 200,000 and 400,000.
During an interview with
David Frost for the
Al Jazeera English
Frost Over The World in June 2008, al-
Bashir insisted that
no more than 10,000 had died in Darfur.
The Sudanese government has been accused of suppressing information by
jailing and killing witnesses since 2004, and tampering with evidence,
such as covering up mass graves. The Sudanese government
has also arrested and harassed journalists, thus limiting the extent
of press coverage of the situation in Darfur. While
the United States government has described the conflict as
genocide, the UN has not recognized the conflict as such. (see
List of declarations of genocide in Darfur).
United States Government
United States Government stated in September 2004 "that genocide
has been committed in
Darfur and that the Government of
Sudan and the
Janjaweed bear responsibility and that genocide may still be
occurring." On 29 June 2004, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell
met with al-
Sudan and urged him to make peace with the
rebels, end the crisis, and lift restrictions on the delivery of
humanitarian aid to Darfur.
Kofi Annan met with al-
days later and demanded that he disarm the Janjaweed.
In March 2007, the
African Union – United Nations Hybrid Operation
Darfur accused Sudan's government of taking part in "gross
Darfur and called for urgent international action to
protect civilians there. After fighting stopped in July and August, on
31 August 2006, the
United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council approved
Resolution 1706 which called for a new 20,600-troop UN peacekeeping
force called UNAMID to supplant or supplement a poorly funded and
African Union Mission in
Sudan strongly objected to the resolution and said that it
would see the UN forces in the region as foreign invaders.[citation
needed] The next day, the Sudanese military launched a major offensive
in the region. A high-level technical consultation
was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 11–12 June 2007, pursuant to
the 4 June 2007 letters of the Secretary-General and the Chairperson
African Union Commission, which were addressed to
al-Bashir. The technical consultations were attended by
delegations from the Government of Sudan, the African Union, and the
Darfur refugee camp in Chad, 2005
In 2009, General Martin Luther Agwai, head of the joint African Union
– United Nations Operation, said the war was over in the region,
although low-level disputes remained. "Banditry, localised issues,
people trying to resolve issues over water and land at a local level.
But real war as such, I think we are over that," he said. This
perspective is contradicted by reports which indicate that violence
Darfur while peace efforts have been stalled repeatedly.
Violence between Sudan's military and rebel fighters has beset
Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states since disputed state elections
in May 2011, an ongoing humanitarian crisis that has prompted
international condemnation and U.S. congressional hearings. In 2012,
Sudan and South
Sudan reached a boiling point when
the Sudanese military bombed territory in South Sudan, leading to
hostilities over the disputed Heglig (or Panthou) oil fields located
along the Sudan-South
Sudan border. Omar al-
Bashir sought the
assistance of numerous non-western countries after the West, led by
America, imposed sanctions against him, he said: "From the first day,
our policy was clear: To look eastward, toward China, Malaysia, India,
Pakistan, Indonesia, and even Korea and Japan, even if the Western
influence upon some [of these] countries is strong. We believe that
the Chinese expansion was natural because it filled the space left by
Western governments, the United States, and international funding
agencies. The success of the Sudanese experiment in dealing with China
without political conditions or pressures encouraged other African
countries to look toward China."
Chadian President Idriss Deby visited
Khartoum in 2010 and Chad kicked
out the Darfuri rebels it had previously supported. Both Sudanese and
Chadian sides together established a joint military border patrol.
JEM rebels in Darfur
On 26 October 2011, Al
Bashir said that
Sudan gave military support to
the Libyan rebels, who overthrew Muammar Gaddafi. In a speech
broadcast live on state television,
Bashir said the move was in
response to Col Gaddafi's support for Sudanese rebels three years ago.
Libya have had a complicated and frequently antagonistic
relationship for many years. President
Bashir said the Justice and
Equality Movement (JEM), a Darfuri rebel group, had attacked Khartoum
three years ago using Libyan trucks, equipment, arms, ammunition and
money. He said God had given
Sudan a chance to respond, by sending
arms, ammunition and humanitarian support to the Libyan
revolutionaries. "Our God, high and exalted, from above the seven
skies, gave us the opportunity to reciprocate the visit," he said.
"The forces which entered Tripoli, part of their arms and
capabilities, were 100% Sudanese," he told the crowd. His speech was
well received by a large crowd in the eastern Sudanese town of
Kassala. But the easy availability of weapons in Libya, and that
country's porous border with Darfur, are also of great concern to the
Bashir in his speech said that his government's priority was to end
the armed rebellion and tribal conflicts in order to save blood and
direct the energies of young people towards building
Sudan instead of
"killing and destruction". He called upon youth of the rebel groups to
lay down arms and join efforts to build the country. Al Bashir
sees himself as a man wronged and misunderstood. He takes full
responsibility for the conflict in Darfur, he says, but says that his
government did not start the fighting and has done everything in its
power to end it.
Bashir has signed two peace agreements for Darfur:
Darfur Peace Agreement, also known as the "Abuja Agreement",
was signed on 5 May 2006 by the government of
Sudan along with a
faction of the SLA led by Minni Minnawi. However, the agreement was
rejected by two other, smaller groups, the Justice and Equality
Movement (JEM) and a rival faction of the SLA led by Abdul Wahid al
Darfur Peace Agreement, also known as the "Doha Agreement",
was signed in July 2011 between the government of
Sudan and the
Liberation and Justice Movement. This agreement established a
compensation fund for victims of the
Darfur conflict, allowed the
Sudan to appoint a Vice-President from Darfur, and
established a new
Darfur Regional Authority to oversee the region
until a referendum can determine its permanent status within the
Republic of Sudan.
The agreement also provided for power sharing at the national level:
movements that sign the agreement will be entitled to nominate two
ministers and two four ministers of state at the federal level and
will be able to nominate 20 members to the national legislature. The
movements will be entitled to nominate two state governors in the
Indictment by the ICC
Bashir is accused of directing attacks against civilians in Darfur.
On 14 July 2008, the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal
Court (ICC), Luis Moreno Ocampo, alleged that al-
individual criminal responsibility for genocide, crimes against
humanity, and war crimes committed since 2003 in Darfur. The
prosecutor accused al-
Bashir of having "masterminded and implemented"
a plan to destroy the three main ethnic groups—Fur, Masalit, and
Zaghawa—with a campaign of murder, rape, and deportation. The arrest
warrant is supported by NATO, the
Genocide Intervention Network, and
An arrest warrant for al-
Bashir was issued on 4 March 2009 by a
Pre-Trial chamber composed of judges
Akua Kuenyehia of Ghana, Anita
Usacka of Latvia, and
Sylvia Steiner of Brazil indicting him on
five counts of crimes against humanity (murder, extermination,
forcible transfer, torture and rape) and two counts of war crimes
(pillaging and intentionally directing attacks against
civilians). The court ruled that there was insufficient
evidence to prosecute him for genocide. However, one of the
three judges wrote a dissenting opinion arguing that there were
"reasonable grounds to believe that Omar Al
Bashir has committed the
crime of genocide."
International Criminal Court
International Criminal Court Prosecutor
Luis Moreno-Ocampo told U.S.
State Department officials on 20 March 2009 that President Bashir
'needed to be isolated.' Ocampo suggested that if Bashir's stash of
money were disclosed (he put the figure at possibly $9 billion),
it would change Sudanese public opinion from him being a "crusader" to
that of a thief.
Sudan is not a state party to the
Rome Statute establishing the ICC,
and thus claims that it does not have to execute the warrant. However,
United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1593 (2005) referred Sudan
to the ICC, which gives the Court jurisdiction over international
crimes committed in
Sudan and obligates the State to cooperate with
the ICC, and therefore the Court,
Amnesty International and others
Sudan must comply with the arrest warrant of the
International Criminal Court.
Amnesty International stated
Bashir must turn himself in to face the charges, and that the
Sudanese authorities must detain him and turn him over to the ICC if
Bashir is the first sitting head of state ever indicted by the
ICC. However, the
Arab League and the
African Union condemned
the warrant. Al-
Bashir has since visited China, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia,
Arab Emirates, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya,
Qatar and several other
countries. which refused to arrest him and surrender him to the ICC
upon arrival. ICC member state Chad also refused to arrest al-Bashir
during a state visit in July 2010.
Luis Moreno Ocampo
Luis Moreno Ocampo and Amnesty
International claimed that al-Bashir's plane could be intercepted in
Sudan announced that the presidential plane
would always be escorted by fighter jets of the
Sudanese Air Force
Sudanese Air Force to
prevent his arrest. In March 2009, just before Bashir's visit to
Qatar, the Sudanese government was reportedly considering sending
fighter jets to accompany his plane to Qatar, possibly in response to
France expressing support for an operation to intercept his plane in
international airspace, as France has military bases in
Bashir in Beijing, China, 3 November 2006
The charges against al-
Bashir have been criticised and ignored by
Sudan and abroad, particularly in Africa and the Muslim
world. Former president of
Libya and former Chairman of the African
Muammar al-Gaddafi characterized the indictment as a form of
terrorism. He also believed that the warrant is an attempt "by (the
west) to recolonise their former colonies."
Egypt said, it was
"greatly disturbed" by the ICC decision and called for an emergency
meeting of the UN security council to defer the arrest warrant.
Arab League Secretary-General
Amr Moussa expressed that the
organization emphasizes its solidarity with Sudan. The ICC warrant was
condemned for "undermining the unity and stability of Sudan." The
Organisation of Islamic Cooperation
Organisation of Islamic Cooperation denounced the warrant as
unwarranted and totally unacceptable. It argued that the warrant
demonstrated "selectivity and double standard applied in relation to
issues of war crimes". There have been large demonstrations by
Sudanese people supporting President
Bashir and opposing the ICC
charges. Russian presidential envoy for
Sudan Mikhail Margelov
argued in 2009 that the warrant "sets a dangerous precedent in
international relations" and "could hamper efforts to bring peace to
Bashir has rejected the charges, saying "Whoever has visited
Darfur, met officials and discovered their ethnicities and
tribes ... will know that all of these things are lies." He
described the charges as "not worth the ink they are written in."
The warrant will be delivered to the Sudanese government, which has
stated that it will not carry it out.
The Sudanese government retaliated against the warrant by expelling a
number of international aid agencies, including
Oxfam and Mercy
Bashir described the aid agencies as thieves who
take "99 percent of the budget for humanitarian work themselves,
giving the people of
Darfur 1 percent" and as spies in the work of
Bashir promised that national agencies will provide
aid to Darfur.
During a visit to Egypt, al-
Bashir was not arrested, leading to
condemnation by Amnesty International. In October 2009, al-
invited to Uganda by President
Yoweri Museveni for an African Union
meeting in Kampala, but did not attend after protest by several NGOs.
On 23 October 2009, al-
Bashir was invited to Nigeria by President
Umaru Yar'Adua for another AU meeting, and was not arrested. In
November, he was invited to Turkey for an
OIC meeting. Later, he
was invited to Denmark to attend conferences on climate change in
Bashir in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 31 January 2009
Bashir was one of the candidates in the 2010 Sudanese presidential
election, the first democratic election with multiple political
parties participating in decades. It had been suggested that
by holding and winning a legitimate presidential elections in 2010,
Bashir had hoped to evade the ICC's warrant for his arrest. On
26 April, he was officially declared the winner after Sudan's election
commission announced he had received 68% of the votes cast in the
The New York Times
The New York Times noted the voting was
"marred by boycotts and reports of intimidation and widespread
Bashir visited Kenya on 27 August 2010 to witness the President
signing Kenya's new constitution into law. In May 2011,
Djibouti to attend the inauguration of President
Ismail Omar Guelleh's third term. In June of the same year,
China's president Hu received al-
Bashir as "friend and brother" in
Beijing, fostering China's interests in Sudan's resources.
Bashir was received in
Libya along with a high-level delegation in
January 2012 in a bid to restore friendly relations and offer support
to the new Libyan government after the fall of Gaddafi.
In July 2013, Omar al-
Bashir arrived in Nigeria for an African Union
summit only to leave the country less than 24 hours later amid calls
for his arrest. In August 2013, Bashir's plane was blocked from
entering Saudi Arabian airspace when
Bashir was attempting to attend
the inauguration of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, whose
country is the main supplier of weapons to Sudan.
A second arrest warrant for President al-
Bashir was later issued on 12
July 2010. The ICC issued an additional warrant adding 3 counts of
genocide for the ethnic cleansing of the Fur, Masalit, and Zaghawa
tribes. The new warrant included the Court's conclusion that
there were reasonable grounds to suspect that (Omar al-Bashir) acted
with specific intent to destroy in part the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa
ethnic groups in the troubled
Darfur region. The ICC released a
further statement saying that al-Bashir's charges now include
"genocide by killing, genocide by causing serious bodily or mental
harm and genocide by deliberately inflicting on each target group
conditions of life calculated to bring about the group's physical
destruction" in three separate counts. The new warrant will act as a
supplement to the first, whereby the charges initially brought against
Bashir will all remain in place, but will now include the crime of
genocide which was ruled out initially, pending appeal.
On 28 August 2010 in Nairobi, the authorities in Kenya chose not to
International Criminal Court
International Criminal Court (ICC) charges of
genocide when he arrived for a ceremony for the new Kenyan
Bashir was escorted into Nairobi's Uhuru Park, where
the signing ceremony was taking place, by Tourism minister Najib
Balala. On 28 November 2011, Kenya's High Court Judge Nicholas Ombija
ordered the Minister of Internal Security to arrest al-Bashir, "should
he set foot in Kenya in the future."
Additionally, Chad and
Djibouti continue to allow
Bashir to travel
freely into their country despite being parties to the
Rome Statute of
the International Criminal Court
Bashir said that
Sudan is not a party to the ICC treaty and could
not be expected to abide by its provisions just like the United
States, China and Russia. He said "It is a political issue and double
standards, because there are obvious crimes like Palestine,
Afghanistan, but [they] did not find their way to the international
criminal court". He added "The same decision in which [the] Darfur
case [was] being transferred to the court stated that the American
Iraq and Afghanistan] would not be questioned by the
court, so it is not about justice, it is a political issue." Al Bashir
accused Luis Moreno Ocampo, the ICC's chief prosecutor since 2003, of
repeatedly lying in order to damage his reputation and standing. Al
Bashir said "The behaviour of the prosecutor of the court, it was
clearly the behaviour of a political activist not a legal
professional. He is now working on a big campaign to add more lies."
He added "The biggest lie was when he said I have $9bn in one of the
British banks, and thank God, the British bank and the [British]
finance minister … denied these allegations." He also said: "The
clearest cases in the world such as Palestine and
Afghanistan, clear crimes to the whole humanity – all were not
transferred to the court."
In October 2013, several members of the
African Union expressed anger
at the ICC, calling it "racist" for failing to file charges against
Western leaders or Western allies while prosecuting only African
suspects so far. The
African Union demanded that the ICC protect
African heads of state from prosecution.
In June 2015, while in South Africa for an
African Union meeting, Al
Bashir was prohibited from leaving that country while a court decided
whether he should be handed over to the ICC for war crimes. He,
nevertheless, was allowed to leave South Africa soon afterward.
In October 2015 he traveled to India to attend the India-Africa Summit
and there were calls for his arrest by
Amnesty International but since
India is not a signatory of the Rome statute the ICC does not have
jurisdiction in India. During an interview, while in India, he
stated that nothing could prevent him from going to South Africa again
Military intervention in Yemen
Saudi-led air strike on Sana'a, 12 June 2015. Saudi-led Sunni Arab
coalition is operating without a UN mandate.
Sudan participated in the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in
Yemen against the
Houthis and forces loyal to former President
Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was deposed in the 2011 uprising.
Reuters reported, "The war in
Yemen has given Omar Hassan al-Bashir, a
skilled political operator who has ruled
Sudan for a quarter-century,
an opportunity to show wealthy Sunni powers that he can be an asset
against Iranian influence – if the price is right."
Allegations of corruption
Al-Bashir's long career has been riddled with war. Despite his pledge
to end the 21-year civil war that had been carrying on when he took
office in 1989, further conflict continued after that he prolonged.
During the frequent fighting, Al-
Bashir allegedly looted the
impoverished nation of much of its wealth. According to leaked US
diplomatic cables, $9 billion of his siphoned wealth was stashed
in London banks. Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the chief prosecutor, stated that
some of the funds were being held in the part-nationalize Lloyds
Banking Group. He also reportedly told US officials it was necessary
to go public with the scale of Al-Bashir's extortion to turn public
opinion against him.
"Ocampo suggested if Bashir's stash of money were disclosed (he put
the figure at $9bn), it would change Sudanese public opinion from him
being a 'crusader' to that of a thief," one US official stated.
"Ocampo reported Lloyds bank in London may be holding or knowledgeable
of the whereabouts of his money," the report says. "Ocampo suggested
Bashir had illegal accounts would be enough to turn the
Sudanese against him."  A leak from
WikiLeaks allegedly reveals
that the Sudanese president had embezzled US$9 billion in state
Lloyds Bank of England "insisted it was not aware of any
link with Bashir," while a Sudanese government spokesman called the
claim "ludicrous" and attacked the motives of the prosecutor. In
an interview with the Guardian, al-
Bashir said, referring to ICC
Prosecuter Ocampo, "The biggest lie was when he said I have $9 billion
in one of the British banks, and thank God, the British bank and the
[British] finance minister ... denied these allegations." The
arrest warrant has actively increased public support for al-
Darfur has been rife with conflict since 2003, when rebels took up
arms against the Sudanese government, accusing it of discriminating
and neglecting the needs of the region, as well as extorting of state
funds. The government is accused of retaliating with ethnic Arab
forces on the area, which the government ardently denies. The U.N.
estimates 300,000 people have been killed and roughly 2.7 million have
been displaced in the war. Union peacekeepers began occupying Darfur
in 2005 and were later reinforced by additional UN troops in 2007. The
peacekeeping force has been frequently attacked although violence as a
whole has declined. The occupying force has limited Al-Bashir's
ability to extort funds.
African space agency
Bashir proposed setting up a continent wide space agency in
Africa. In a statement he said; "I'm calling for the biggest project,
an African space agency. Africa must have its space agency. It will
liberate Africa from technological domination". This followed previous
calls in 2010 by the
African Union (AU) to conduct a feasibility study
that would draw up a "roadmap for the creation of the African space
agency". African astronomy received a massive boost when South Africa
was awarded the lion's share of the Square Kilometre Array, the
world's biggest radio telescope. It will see dishes erected in nine
African countries. But skeptics have questioned whether a continental
body in the style of
NASA or the
European Space Agency
European Space Agency would be
Tokyo International Conference on African Development
Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD-IV),
List of national leaders
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Wikimedia Commons has media related to Omar al-Bashir.
Wikiquote has quotations related to: Omar al-Bashir
Omar Hassan Ahmad Al-
Bashir at Trial Watch.
Omar Hassan Ahmad al-
Bashir at The Hague Justice Portal.
"Sudanese President Threaten Wars",
Sudan Inside, 18 November 2007.
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Arrest Warrant for Sudan's President Bashir: Arabs Are Leaving
Themselves out of the International Justice System
Playing it firm, fair and smart: the EU and the ICC's indictment of
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Studies, March 2009.
President of Sudan
Presidents of Sudan
Sovereignty Council (1956–58)
Sovereignty Council (1964–65)
Sovereignty Council (June–July 1965)
Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa
Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa
Ismaïl Omar Guelleh
Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed
Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
Abdullah II of Jordan
Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah
Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah
Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz
Yahya Ould Hademine
Mohammed VI of Morocco
Qaboos bin Said al Said
Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani
Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani
Salman of Saudi Arabia
Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed
Hassan Ali Khayre
Bakri Hassan Saleh
Beji Caid Essebsi
Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi
Ahmed Obeid bin Daghr
People publicly indicted in the International Criminal Court
Italics and (*) indicate, that a person was convicted by the ICC.
Central African Republic
Jean-Pierre Bemba (*)
Charles Blé Goudé
Bahr Abu Garda
Abdel Rahim Hussein
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Germain Katanga (*)
Thomas Lubanga Dyilo (*)
Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi
Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi (*)
Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud
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