STATEMENT

Regarding the Indictment of Sudan President Omar al Bashir

Statement of Congressman Mike Capuano
Sudan Caucus

March 5, 2009

"Yesterday the International Criminal Court indicted President Omar al Bashir on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. This marks the first time the ICC has indicted a sitting head of state, and it emphasizes the seriousness and utter corruption of the campaign of violence the Government of Sudan has been waging against its own people for far too many years. The decision by the Pre-Trial Chamber represents a significant turning point in the international community's dealings with Sudan, because now accountability has been demanded."

"President Bashir has refused to comply with the ICC arrest warrant and has pledged his defiance. In fact, Bashir's government in Khartoum has reacted to the indictment by expelling many international humanitarian groups working in Sudan to improve the lives of regular people. One example is the internationally acclaimed relief agency Oxfam. Such a reaction only lends credence to the indictment."

"Clearly, we must do more to end the conflict in Darfur and continue to seek peace for all the people of Sudan. I call on the Obama Administration to quickly articulate a Sudan policy that includes dedicated, high-level engagement and enforceable measures to press the Government of Sudan into compliance with international law and internationally recognized agreements, such as the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. I also call on all governments to honor the indictment of the ICC and take all appropriate action related to it. In my capacity as co-founder and co-chair of the Sudan Caucus, I will continue to advocate for the safety and security of the Sudanese people and will closely monitor the implications and effects of this decision by the ICC."