I should write a Bashir-arrest-warrant post, but I don’t have to like it<sup>[3]</sup> – Logistics for global health and aid - A Humourless Lot

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I should write a Bashir-arrest-warrant post, but I don’t have to like it[3]

by Michael Keizer on March 9, 2009

I don’t know. And I suspect that those who pretend they do[1], don’t know either.

I don’t think it will have escaped anybody’s notice (or at least anybody who would read this blog) that the ICC issued a warrant for Al-Bashir’s arrest. Nor will it have gone unnoticed that he retaliated swiftly by expelling at least 13 international aid organisations from Sudan. The discussion whether or not the warrant is A Good Thing is raging across a million, million blogs (well, a couple of hundreds at least), with most pro- and opponents presenting their viewpoints with astounding assuredness that they know what is Right[2].

To reiterate: I just don’t know. I am angry and sad, but that is angry with Al-Bashir and his cronies, and sad for the Sudanese population. But there is more to this.

At the last count, I have worked in over 30 countries. None of them is able to get at my emotions like Sudan does; and none save Sudan has made me decide that I never want to go back. Sudan is is blessed with a population that comprises some of the best, noblest, and nicest people I know. It has also produced some of the most callous, cruel, and abhorrent people I know. The strangest thing: the two groups overlap largely — and that is something that I have only experienced in Sudan. I don’t think that there are many countries where it is normal that the same colleague who risks his life trying to get a couple of very sick kids out of a incredibly tight spot, will tell you at some other occasion that he feels that all [fill in your favourite ethnic/cultural group] should be exterminated, and that he would not hesitate to pull the trigger if he had the chance. Yes, it happens occasionally in other countries as well, but as an everyday matter of course? Only in Sudan.

Sudan is one of the most complicated, intractable settings I know; and I find anybody who pretends that they know what is best for the Sudanese highly suspect.

(Photo courtesy of Ammar Abd Rabbo. Some rights reserved.)


[1] In my original draft (which, I am glad to say, I let cool for a day or so before publishing), I had a couple of links to some of my co-bloggers here. But what’s the use? You know who you are.
[2] No, I haven’t suddenly contracted capitalitis; this is a result of the way this occasion seems to be celebrated with discussions that usually feature Ideas With Capitals.
[3] With apologies to Wronging Rights for the blatant plagiarism

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

kizzie April 24, 2009 at 3:12 am

As a Sudanese, I read a every article and book written on Sudan I get my hands on…I still don’t understand it:)

great website, I looked at the job opportunities here:)


Michael Keizer April 24, 2009 at 10:15 am

Thanks for the kind words, Kizzie. I am always happy to read that somebody likes my blog. I am even happier to read that I am not the only one to find Sudanese reality confusing, and that even Sudanese cannot always make sense of it.


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