Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir
Confessions of a Sudanese deserter
Khalid, who is of black African origin, says he was forcibly recruited into President Omar al-Bashir’s Sudanese army in late 2002.
He and several other men where he lived were taken to the headquarters of his regiment which was based near the north-western Darfur town of Fasher.
He admits to having taken part in seven different attacks on Darfur villages with the help of Janjaweed militia.
The first one was in the Korma area in December 2002 several months before the conflict in Darfur officially began.
He claims to have been extremely reluctant to carry out the savage orders he was given.
“When they asked me to rape the girl, I went and stood in front of her,” he said.
“Tears came into my eyes. They said: ‘You have to rape her. If you don’t we will beat you.’ I hesitated and they hit me with the butt of a rifle.
“But when I went to the girl I couldn’t do it. I took her into a corner and lay myself on top of her as if I was raping her for about 10 to 15 minutes.
“Then, I jumped up and came out. They said: ‘Did you rape her?’ I said: ‘Yes, I did’.”
Khalid says that soon after this he and the other soldiers went back to base.
When they got there he was told to join another patrol immediately.
When he refused they beat and tortured him, inflicting severe burns on his legs and back.
He spent five weeks in a military hospital recovering from his injuries.
Before long, he said, he was ordered to join other brutal raids on Darfur villages.
I asked him what he was told to do with unarmed civilians who did not resist in any way.
“They told us, don’t leave anybody, just kill everybody,” he said.
“Even the children, if left behind in the huts, we had to kill them,” he said. “People would cry and run from their huts.
“Many couldn’t take all their children. If they had more than two they had to leave them behind. If you saw them you had to shoot and kill.”
George Clooney blogs about Darfur
For years, George Clooney argues, there has been little hope in Darfur. Today, Sudan‘s president was indicted for crimes against humanity. Now the world should bring him to justice.
(Thanks for making this an almost impossible task, Georgie. You asshole!)
From the unitednations
March 04, 2009
United Nations, 4 March 2009 – The International Criminal Court (ICC) today issued an arrest warrant for war crimes committed in the strife-torn Darfur region by Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir, the first sitting Head of State to be indicted by the Court.
Richard Dicker from Human Rights Watch is explaining the significance of the arrest warrant to journalists during a press conference at UN Headquarters.
View the entire Press Conference (Real Media, 58 minutes):
International Criminal Court website: