“Non-Governmental” Groups Stage U.N. Rally for Indicted President Al-Bashir

Some thirty supporters of Sudanese president Al-Bashir gathered today in front of the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva, urging the International Criminal Court to “interrupt the execution of the arrest warrant” against Al-Bashir, who was indicted last week for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

A press release was distributed to passers-by, signed by two so-called human rights groups: the “International Action for Peace and Development in the Great Lake region” ; and the “International Committee for the Respect and Application of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights” (Comité international pour le respect et l’application de la Charte africaine des droits de l’homme et des peuples). Both groups apparently have official NGO status with the UN, but appear to be functioning here more like “GONGOs” (government-operated NGOs), i.e., state-sponsored front groups that are anything but “non-governmental.”

The Khartoum regime was a little sloppy here in covering up its tracks. The non-governmental press release included the following very non-nongovernmental footnote: “The text was translated by the Permanent Mission of the Sudan to the UN in Geneva…”

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