Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Abu Tayyib Ocampo | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Since the International Criminal Court [ICC] decision to issue an arrest warrant for the President of Sudan, against the backdrop of the Darfur Crisis, there have been loud reactions from Khartoum that indicate that the Sudanese regime did not completely comprehend what to expect.

Among these volatile reactions, there is the fatwa issued by the Association of Sudanese Muslim Scholars which prohibits President Al-Bashir from traveling to Doha to attend the Arab summit, this fatwa is based upon grounds that will [likely] be provocative.

A leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Ali Geresha, banned President Al-Bashir from traveling to Doha, because self-preservation is one of the most important requisites in Islam. He said “Muslim scholars have agreed upon the five requisites, and self-preservation is second only to the safeguarding of religion.”

The question that comes to mind: Where were those who issued fatwas when it came to Darfur? Where were their fatwas to stop this humanitarian crisis?

Has the understanding of the concept of a fatwa fallen to such a degree, and has its usage in politics plunged to this depth? How sad this is! Only last year a fatwa was issued decreeing that the Arab summit in Damascus not be boycotted and today a fatwa is issued to ban Al-Bashir from traveling to Doha.

What is strange here is that the Association of Sudanese Muslim Scholars has proceeded along the same lines as the ICC with regards to a travel ban for the Sudanese President; the latter banned him because he is wanted, and the former banned him in order to protect him. What a paradox!

The issue does not stop here, rather in order to understand the flaws in the management of this crisis, or the management of the conflict in Khartoum, with regards to the Darfur crisis and the international community, it will be sufficient to look at the statement of one Sudanese official. Namely Ahmed Harun, Minister of State for Humanitarian Affairs, who is accused by the ICC of committing war crimes in Darfur, but who says that he is not worried about the Court, and who quoted a verse from a poem [by Arab poet Abou Tayyib Al-Mutanabbi] “I sleep peacefully…and Ocampo does not”

Here we understand why the Sudanese government has ignored twenty international resolutions in 5 years, for the people there are living in the time of Abou Tayyib Al-Mutanabbi, and believe this to be the appropriate response to an international court, and to [ICC] Prosecutor Ocampo.

What is sad and disturbing here is; has Sudan, it’s people and it’s conflicts- which have claimed nearly two million lives throughout various wars, not to mention the refugees, the people of Darfur -been governed by this mentality al along?

Accordingly, belief takes root everyday in the minds of the observers that the solution to the crisis in Sudan lies solely in the hands of the regime itself. It is not within anybody’s ability to help them as long as they see things from this perspective, which makes clear that they are far from understanding international entanglements.