Warrant Issued for Sudanese President

Wednesday, March 4, 2009 - 6:59pm

New information is out of Darfur today. A warrant was issued for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. He’s charged with killing hundreds of thousands of people in Darfur. Our David D’Aquin is tracking this story and caught up with a Baton Rouge professor who was born and raised in Darfur.

Dr. Mahmoud Braima grew up in Darfur. When he was growing up democracy ruled, he went to college, then started working in the United States. “The political climate changed so much that to me it would have been unsafe to return there because I don’t agree with the ideology of this government.”

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is charged with crimes against humanity, murder, and war crimes. Over the last six years, at least 300,000 people have been killed and another 2.7 million people have run away.

Braima has family members who are still in Sudan, “Have been harassed a lot. Have been in jail. Have been probably tortured.” Braima is relieved there’s an arrest warrant out for al-Bashir, but says there won’t be any quick benefits.

If al-Bashir travels outside Sudan, he’ll be arrested and Braima says that’ll help the people in Darfur. People he says have been victims of horrific acts. Braima says women and children have been raped and tortured. “They take corpses of humans and throw them in the wells so that they can poison the water and make it harder for people to survive in these areas.”

Multiple aid organizations have helped the people in Darfur, but after warrants were issued for the Sudanese President this morning, all the aid workers have been told to leave. Sudanese officials have ordered all foreign aid workers out of Darfur and have said Western countries just want control of their oil.