Features include interactive map, in-depth stories, and more.Download now. »
The week's top five must-sees,
delivered to your inbox.
Lieutenant General Omar Hassan Ahmad Al-Bashir is the President of Sudan and the head of the National Congress Party. He came to power in 1989 when he, as a brigadier in the Sudanese army, led a group of officers in a bloodless military coup that ousted the government of Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi. In October 2005, al-Bashir's government negotiated an end to the Second Sudanese Civil War, one of the longest-running and deadliest wars of the 20th century, by granting limited autonomy to Southern Sudan dominated by the Sudan People's Liberation Army. Since then, however, there has been a violent conflict in Darfur that has resulted in death tolls between 200,000 and 400,000. During his presidency, there have been several violent struggles between the Janjaweed militia and rebel groups such as the Sudanese Liberation Army and the Justice and Equality Movement in the form of guerrilla warfare in the Darfur region. The civil war has displaced over 2.5 million people and has created a crisis in the diplomatic relations between Sudan and Chad. Al-Bashir is a controversial figure both in Sudan and worldwide. In July 2008, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno Ocampo, accused al-Bashir of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur. The court issued an arrest warrant for al-Bashir on 4 March 2009 on counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, but ruled that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute him for genocide. However, on 12 July 2010, after a lengthy appeal by the prosecution, the Court held that there was indeed sufficient evidence for charges of genocide to be brought and issued a second warrant containing three separate counts. The new warrant, as with the first, will be delivered to the Sudanese government, which is unlikely to execute it. Al-Bashir was the first sitting head of state indicted by the ICC. The court's decision is opposed by the African Union, League of Arab States, Non-Aligned Movement, and the governments of Russia and China. A leak from WikiLeaks allegedly reveals that the Sudanese president had embezzled state funds amounting to US$ 9 billion, to which the Lloyd's Bank of England later rejected as "Lloyds insisted it was not aware of any link with Bashir." This refutes the International Criminal Court prosecutor Ocampo, who said he has evidence of corruption, questioning his credibility in other events. (via Freebase)