International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

Omar al-Bashir wins Sudan Elections

In recent Presidential elections, Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir was re-elected with 94% of votes. According to BBC news sources, “the country’s main opposition parties boycotted the election, saying they would not be free and fair” thereby leaving us to question the legitimacy of the election. This situation has prompted a close consideration of whether or not justice has a deterrent impact on international actors. Bashir’s re-election demonstrates that justice does not always serve as a deterrent factor. While some might argue that justice does not work as a deterrent factor because of the perpetrator’s inability to perform a cost benefit analysis of the situation, Bashir demonstrates otherwise. Bashir’s ICC arrest warrant proves that his desires and demand for presidency make him a rational actor. “Despite his age, stepping down is not an option for Bashir. It would mean surrendering power and the possibility of prosecution by The Hague.” Bashir’s ICC arrest warrant failed to deter Bashir’s actions, but also motivated him to run for re-election. Not only did justice fail to provide deterrence for the Sudanese perpetrator, Bashir’s re-election poses a threat to peace and security as his presidency could destabilize the current political situation. “These elections may decide something, but do not resolve anything. Indeed, they have deepened the current political crises by intensifying mistrust: mistrust among political parties, mistrust among the country’s centre and its peripheries, and mistrust between political parties and their supposed constituencies.” How should the international community respond to Bashir’s re-election? Is there such a thing as “un-doing” justice and could it help in stabilizing Sudan’s political situation? If Bashir is a rational actor, what can be done to remedy the situation?

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