In an historic move, the Pre-Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced on 12 July 2010 its decision to issue a warrant for the arrest of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for his alleged role as an indirect perpetrator or indirect co-perpetrator of genocide in Darfur. The ICC Pre-Trial Chamber has thus determined that there are reasonable grounds to believe that President Al-Bashir is responsible for three counts of genocide committed against the Fur, Masalitand Zaghawa ethnic groups that include killing, causing serious bodily or mental harm and deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about the physical destruction, in whole or in part, of a particular group.
An earlier arrest warrant for President Al-Bashir was issued in March 2009 by the ICC for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur, in which the judges declined to include charges of genocide. This second warrant is the first time the ICC has issued an arrest warrant for the crime of genocide.

Statement by Alison Smith, Legal Counsel of No Peace Without Justice:

“No Peace Without Justice and the Transnational Nonviolent Radical Party welcome the decision of the ICC to issue a second arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir on charges of genocide, as an important response to the demands for justice from the people of Darfur. With this decision, and with its ongoing work, the ICC is fast cementing its place as an integral component of the international community’s fight against impunity, by responding to the interests of victims, even against those who are at the pinnacle of power.

“We call upon the international community, particularly the States Parties to the ICC, to cooperate fully with the International Criminal Court to ensure that the arrest warrants against President Al-Bashir are enforced and that he is brought to account for the charges leveled against him by the Court.

“Sudan’s own history demonstrates that granting impunity for serious crimes only encourages those crimes to continue, whether by the same the perpetrators or others. The Sudanese Government has ruled for two decades by corruption and violence against its population and has blatantly defied and obstructed the ICC to date. Adopting a policy of appeasement towards this kind of regime  will only serve to water the seeds of a future civil war in Sudan.

“The people of Darfur and of Sudan deserve a chance at lasting peace, which in turn requires impartial and effective justice. The international community must support the ICC and demonstrate its clear commitment to stand on the side of victims of systematic human rights violations and not to rally behind their perpetrators”.

For further information, contact Alison Smith on or +32-2-548 39 12 or Nicola Giovannini on or +32-2-548-39 15.