It’s a deadly game, and Sudan’s al-Bashir knows how to play it. If you’re a soccer fan, this will sound familiar. In a match, you see a player that plays rough, always at the edge of what’s legal on the field. He pushes opponents, using shoulders, elbows, and knees. On contested headers, he goes in elbow up and leading the way. Now and then, he’ll tackle with the cleats showing. As the game goes on, an inexperienced, or just plain bad, referee let’s these infractions go—never calling fouls or bringing out a yellow card. The rough player gets rougher, knowing that he will likely not be penalized. The cleats come up more. The elbow locks in on the opponent’s head. The game gets out of hand. Players get hurt.
In Sudan, Bashir knows that he will not be penalized. He kills and kills, and he’s never made to pay. He and his regime operate with impunity, knowing that the referee, the international community, is weak or not there at all.
In a recent The Independent article, John Prendergast, from the Enough Project, says:
“This is simply a continuation of the approach Khartoum has taken with any restive population anywhere in Sudan. Aerial bombardment, denial of emergency aid, targeting civilians on the basis of their ethnicity, have all been trademark tactics the regime has used for 22 years.
“Usually, though, there isn’t hard evidence. The satellite imagery provides that. We’ve seen the world act in response to human rights issues in Egypt, Libya and Syria. When will the people of Sudan get their turn?”