Court calls for arrest of Sudan’s president
Claims of ongoing genocide and acts of human atrocities in Darfur will be investigated as an arrest warrant for Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir was requested Monday by the International Criminal Court .
Ethnic groups the Fur, the Masalit and the Zaghawa have been at the center of the Sudanese president’s genocide since 2003, and more than 300,000 individuals have been murdered and more than 2 million displaced, The New York Times reported.
The formal charges of prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo against Bashir mark the first time in the history of the International Criminal Court that the prosecution has charged a sitting political leader with genocide.
Teresa Pham, co-president and co-founder of the UH chapter of the Student Anti-Genocide Coalition, or STAND, said she’s optimistic this action will serve as a warning to other world leaders.
"Our society should hold people like (Bashir) accountable for acts of human atrocities," Pham said. "Because he’s in a position of power doesn’t mean he’s untouchable."
Alleviating genocide in Darfur and educating students on the deliberate extermination of national, racial, political and cultural groups are among the student organization’s main objectives.
The student group is also working on a petition with Coalition For Responsible Investment to break the University’s ties to companies that are affiliated with genocide in Darfur.
In April, The Daily Cougar reported UH’s business connections in Sudan were to the tune of $610,000. After reviewing financial documents, The Daily Cougar found that as of April 23 the University held 588,000 shares of stock, at $1.05 per share, in its endowment fund in the China Petroleum and Chemical Corp., or Sinopec, a company highly involved in the genocide strife of Darfur.
The group is in the process of writing a bill, which will insist that UH break its ties to the wrongdoings in Darfur, to present to the Student Government Association.
"We’re urging UH to reinvest its endowments in companies that are not directly related to genocide in Darfur," Pham said.
For Pham, this matter provides a chance for students and the University as a whole to exercise the right to democracy and attempt to correct the wrongdoings in Darfur.
"Those innocent children and women, don’t deserve to be displaced, raped or killed," Pham said. "We have the social responsibility to do something about it."