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March 5th, 2009
09:59 AM ET

A president, a boy and genocide

Nicholas D. Kristof
New York Times

When the International Criminal Court issued its arrest warrant for Sudan’s president on Wednesday, an 8-year-old boy named Bakit Musa would have clapped — if only he still had hands.

I met Bakit a couple of weeks ago in eastern Chad, near the border of Darfur. He and two friends had found a grenade left behind in fighting after Sudan’s president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, armed and dispatched a proxy force to wreak havoc in Chad. The boys played with the grenade, and it exploded, taking both of Bakit’s hands, one eye and the skin on half of his face.

So Bakit became, inadvertently, one more casualty of the havoc and brutality that President Bashir has unleashed in Sudan and surrounding countries. Other children laugh at him, so Bakit plays by himself in the dust on the outskirts of a huge camp for people displaced by Mr. Bashir.

One of Mr. Bashir’s first actions after the arrest warrant was to undertake yet another crime against humanity: He expelled major international aid groups, including the International Rescue Committee and the Dutch section of Doctors Without Borders.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Darfur
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Instead of issuing an arrest warrant-–why don't they issue an executive order for the use of deadly force on first sighting?

    March 5, 2009 at 11:48 am |