The Washington Times - February 12, 2009, 01:14PM

The International Criminal Court has apparently not yet decided to issue an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, despite reports late last night that such an action had taken place.

But regardless of whether the warrant has been issued, all signs are that it will be eventually, and likely soon. And so now the discussion turns to the repercussions. 


In our piece last week, in which we broke the news that President Obama supports the arrest warrant, experts on Sudan warned that going forward with the indictment could plunge the country back into chaos and bloodshed.

“We are worried that an indictment might lead to violence and are taking every step possible to try to mitigate against that risk,” said Sam Worthington, president of InterAction, a coalition of 175 nongovernmental organizations that work in developing nations.

The aid community, Mr. Worthington said, is “the easiest target.”

“They’re unarmed. They’re working in a war zone. We’ve made it very clear to the United Nations and the government of the Sudan that they need to avoid any attack on our community in retaliation for an indictment.”

Others who have negotiated with the Bashir regime said talks between the Sudanese government and southern rebels could be derailed if Khartoum decides to retaliate.

The folks at the Center for American Progress’ Enough Project have put out a report today called “What the Arrest Warrant Means.” You can read it here.

I interviewed the Enough Project’s John Prendergast for last week’s piece, and his group’s argument is that the Obama administration should support the indictment and put pressure on Khartoum to allow more pragmatic members of the government to take control.

— Jon Ward, White House reporter, The Washington Times