WASHINGTON (JTA) — Two Jewish groups are praising the International Criminal Court’s decision to issue an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism called it a "step toward justice both in Sudan and in the international fight for human rights."
"By calling for President Bashir’s arrest, the ICC has made a statement that no perpetrator of genocide, even a head of state, is free from accountability for his or her actions," said RAC director Rabbi David Saperstein.
The American Jewish World Service signed on to a statement as part of the Save Darfur Coalition which stated that the warrant "will likely add international legal weight to a long obvious truth — primary responsibility for the atrocities in Darfur rests with the regime that Bashir heads."
The coalition urged the international community to "make absolutely clear that the Government of Sudan will be held responsible for any preemptive or retaliatory action against civilians, humanitarian aid workers, or United Nations and African Union peacekeeping forces" and focus renewed diplomatic efforts on building a lasting and inclusive peace for all of Sudan. It also urged Sudanese authorites to cooperate with the court.