In Sudan War Crimes Case, Peace Must Take Priority

Prosecuting Bashir would imperil long-term situation
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2008 1:20 PM CDT

(Newser) – The genocide and war crimes charges against the Sudanese president are a solid moral victory, but to actually prosecute Omar al-Bashir would derail realistic chances of peace in the war-torn nation, argues author David Rieff in the LA Times. Indeed, the African Union today called for the Security Council to stall on the war crimes charges for exactly that reason, AFP reports.

While it would be "emotionally satisfying" to prosecute Bashir, "justice cannot and should not always be the first priority," Rieff writes, citing South Africa and Chile as instances in which peace outweighed justice. The best chance at quelling the violence would be to "restart negotiations in a serious way" and not "indulge in 'Count of Monte Cristo'-like fantasies of the wicked getting their comeuppance."