Darfuri refugees in Chad “reassured” by court ruling for Bashir’s arrest

Refugees in Chad told Radio Dabanga about their disappointment that President Al Bashir was not arrested, but appreciate the efforts of the South African court.

Refugees in eastern Chad spoke to Radio Dabanga about their disappointment that President Omar Al Bashir was not arrested by the South African authorities, and managed to flee the country on Monday from the court hearing. They added their voice to those of the displaced people in Darfur, who said they are grateful for the ruling by the Pretoria High Court. The refugees feel once again reassured that the international justice stands by their side.

Hussein Abu Sharati, the spokesman for the Association of Displaced People and Refugees in Darfur, explained that the displaced Darfuris living in camps have strongly criticised the government of South Africa for failing to arrest President Al Bashir when he attended the African Union summit on Sunday and Monday. “They believe that the debacle of whether to arrest him between the government and the judiciary was artificial, and part of the coverage for the error South Africa made by inviting a person who is wanted by the International Criminal Court.”

The Sudanese refugees in camp Treguine in eastern Chad told Radio Dabanga that they welcome the decision of the Pretoria High Court in South Africa to arrest Omar Al Bashir and hand him over to the International Criminal Court (ICC). Yagoub Idris, head of Treguine, demanded the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and the ICC to continue the pursuit of Al Bashir until his arrest and delivery to international court “in shackles”.

On the part of the Sudanese refugees in Touloum camp, eastern Chad, they expressed their appreciation for the efforts of justice by the High Court in South Africa. Haidar Gardia, the head of Touloum, said they resent the position of President Jacob Zuma for not complying with the court's interim order that barred Al Bashir from leaving South Africa until the court made its judgment.

But as refugees, “they have been reassured that the international justice and conscience of the world are standing by their side, and all the victims in the world”, Gardia said. “They believe that Al Bashir will face justice, no matter how long it takes.”

"Continue the pursuit of President Al Bashir until he is delivered to the ICC in shackles."

Refugees' spokesman Abu Sharati himself had expected the failure to arrest the Sudanese president, he said. Omar Al Bashir has set foot in other African countries who are state members of the Rome Statute before, without being arrested. Abu Sharati criticised the international community, including the UNSC, for not taking a clear and uniform position against the Sudanese government.

SLM-AW appeals to Sudanese forces

Abdel Wahid Mohamed Ahmed El Nur, the head of the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement and co-president of the coalition of Sudan's main rebel groups (SRF), stressed that the events “indicate that the world has not forgotten about the genocide” the regime committed in Darfur.

In an unusual appeal, Abdel Wahid asked the leaders of Sudanese paramilitary Rapid Support Forces to join them.

“If Al Bashir, who enjoys immunity, is chased in this way, you are not immune. Thus you have to refrain from Al Bashir's crimes and join the Sudanese people in their march to change, and building a state of equal citizenship,” he said through Radio Dabanga.