July 12, 2010 / 3:06 PM / 9 years ago

Factbox: Omar Bashir indicted for genocide

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The International Criminal Court issued a second arrest warrant on Monday for Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for the crime of genocide. Here are some key facts about Bashir:


* Bashir was born in 1944 in the Nile Valley north of Khartoum. The son of a small farmer, he graduated from Sudan’s military academy in 1966 and was a career army officer who rose to the rank of general.

* He served at least one tour of combat duty in the south against the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). In June 1989 he overthrew the democratically elected civilian government of former Prime Minister Sadeq al-Mahdi.

* In October 1993, he dissolved the military junta which brought him to power and appointed himself civilian president in a move designed to establish Islamic government in Africa’s largest country as stable and civilian-based.

* Bashir was previously sworn in after an internationally-backed 2005 north-south peace deal which ended Africa’s longest civil war, a conflict that claimed some 2 million lives and destabilized much of the region.


* Bashir was accused in July 2008 by the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor of masterminding a campaign of genocide in Darfur. The United Nations says the long-running conflict has killed 300,000 people and uprooted 2.7 million. Bashir put the death toll at 10,000 people. * In March 2009 the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Bashir on seven counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, but stopped short of including a charge of genocide. It was the first indictment of a sitting head of state.

* Two months later, Bashir said in an interview that the arrest warrant issued against him is part of a plot against Sudan and denied responsibility for large-scale killings there. “The ICC ruling is fundamentally null and void,” said Bashir, saying of the ICC charges against him: “This is all lies.”

* In February 2010, judges at the ICC reversed a decision that prosecutors had not provided sufficient evidence to add genocide to Bashir’s charge sheet.


* Bashir has promised to resolve the Darfur conflict through negotiations and to enhance relations with the south, even if it chooses secession in a planned 2011 referendum.

— Yet the escalation in Darfur fighting since April polls has been discouraging those hoping for a quick renewal to a Qatari-sponsored peace process, which had seen some progress because of reconciliation between Sudan and neighboring Chad.

* On April 26, 2010, Bashir won Sudan’s first open elections in 24 years. Bashir won 68 percent of the presidential vote, while Salva Kiir retained his job as the president of Sudan’s semi-autonomous south.

— After the vote that outside observers said fell short of global standards, Bashir was expected to form a coalition with Kiir as the country heads toward a 2011 referendum on whether south Sudan should split off and become Africa’s newest state.

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