On 14th July 2008, the prosector of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, decided to show that no state president is exempt from justice when crimes as serious as those in Darfur are committed. However, the interests of foreign powers in Sudan's oil and geopolitical negotiations could turn this into no more than a mere threat.
The accusation of the Sudanese president, Omar al-Bashir, of crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes is a historic event. For the first time ever, the International Criminal Court thus accused a head of state in power and ordered that he should be detained. In March 2005, the UN Security Council approved Resolution 1593, backed by France and Great Britain, giving the prosecutor's office of the International Criminal Court authority over the Darfur situation.
This comment by Isabelle Birambaux analyses whether such actions on the part of the international community indicate its genuine intention to take a firm stance against those who violate human rights and ensure justice; or whether other interests are at stake, such as an attempt to seek concessions regarding oil and geopolitics.