khartoum sucks in the summer
Good to see that the ICC's issuance of an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is having its intended effect. First, Bashir declared his intention to throw out every foreign aid organization. He already expelled thirteen aid groups from Darfur, thus cutting off vital access to food, water, and shelter for hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons. (Not surprisingly, things there are getting much, much worse very quickly.) Now, our man in Khartoum? He's traveling.
Generally, when the whole world is out to get you and you aren't just paranoid, it's best not to cross international borders. Arrests tend to happen at major international airports. But al-Bashir doesn't seem to be particularly concerned about the possibility of ending up in a tiny concrete room at the Hague. Then again, he's only traveled to Eritrea. In the "enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-former-enemy-but-is-now-my-friend-at-least-until-Ethiopia's-government-changes" world of Horn of Africa politics, getting arrested in Eritrea is among al-Bashir's least likely scenarios. Eritrea is not a signatory to the statues of the ICC, so they have no obligations to the international community to hand him over. (Plus, the Eritreans were so betrayed by so many countries for so long, they don't really feel any obligations to anybody. There's a fantastic book on that subject if you're interested in learning more.)
Will al-Bashir continue to travel abroad in open defiance of the ICC? It seems unlikely to me. His other neighbors mostly hate him, and Sudanese Islamic clerics have issued a fatwa against al-Bahsir's traveling to Qatar for next week's Arab League Summit. al-Bashir previously said that he'd go to Doha (Qatar is also not an ICC signatory), but I seriously doubt he would defy his country's Committee of Islamic Scholars by heading that way.
Poor Omar. It's tough being stuck in Khartoum with nowhere but Asmara to go. I hear the Netherlands are lovely this time of year...