But before we heap hosannas on the Bush administration for its newfound resolve, let’s wait until the Security Council comes out with a list of Sudanese individuals who are set to be placed under sanction for their role in the genocide. For that moment will be the real test of the Bush administration’s determination to prevent the further destruction of Darfur and to hold accountable those guilty of plotting and carrying out the genocide.
The Prospect has obtained a confidential annex to a January 30th Security Council report that identifies the 17 Sudanese individuals whom a panel of U.N. experts concluded were most responsible for war crimes and impeding the peace process. The panel recommends that the council place these men under targeted sanction, that they be banned from international travel, and that their foreign assets be frozen. In addition to the 17, five others are cited as possible future targets for sanctions, including Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir and the President of Chad, Idriss Deby.
The men identified in the annex are the worst of the worst war criminals in a conflict that has claimed hundreds of thousands of civilian lives. And by far the most prominent name of the 17 recommended for immediate sanction is Salah Abdala Gosh.
You may not know that name, but the Central Intelligence Agency certainly does, and Langley won’t be thrilled if he is placed under an international travel ban. He is the director of Sudan’s National Security and Intelligence Services. And when Osama bin Laden found haven in Sudan from 1990 to 1996, Gosh was his personal government minder. Last year, Ken Silverstein of the Los Angeles Times detailed the extensive counterintelligence cooperation between Gosh and the CIA, and reported that the CIA even flew Gosh to CIA headquarters on a private jet to swap trade secrets.
But will the US do? Stay tuned.
Meanwhile, the US is threatening to withdraw funding to the Iraqi security services if the newly forming government doesn’t appoint people essentially approved by Washington.