By Arlene Getz, Newsweek, 21 March 2009
Moreno-Ocampo, 56, sat down in New York with Newsweek’s Arlene Getz to discuss human rights, Sudan and whether an Obama-led America will join the court. Excerpts:
Getz: Bashir responded to the ICC’s arrest warrant by expelling foreign-aid groups from Sudan. Did you expect that?
Moreno-Ocampo: We have evidence that he has been committing massive crimes since 2003. Expelling the aid groups was just another step.
Before the warrant was issued, though, these groups warned that it could backfire.
Let’s be clear. Bashir committed the crimes, not the prosecutor. That is why the judge decided that an arrest warrant was necessary.
What about their argument that it would be better to have peace before justice?
I’m just the prosecutor. My role is to collect the facts and the evidence; that is what I did. If people don’t know how to manage the facts, it’s a challenge. But it’s not my job to say how to do it. Bashir will keep committing the crimes, whatever we do. He is exterminating millions of people in front of the eyes of the international community. The court is not calling for armies to manage the country. It’s a different way to manage global conflict.
How can you arrest Bashir?
Realistically he can be captured. Both [Yugoslavia’s] Slobodan Milosevic and [Liberia’s] Charles Taylor were in jail. Whether it takes two months or two years, the destiny of Omar Bashir is to face justice. The problem is how to stop the crimes today. Five thousand people are dying every month in the Darfur camps. This extermination is committed using hunger.