The international community risks bringing Sudan not to the doors of Eden but to the gates of Hell.

Another problem is that the ICC treaty does not allow for the dismissal of charges or for plea bargains, which means that the only incentive potentially on offer to Bashir is weak and conditional: his indictment would have to be delayed repeatedly, and the Sudanese have reason to worry that they might get arrested even after signing some sort of peace agreement.
 It is also unclear how a Western diplomat or politician who offered to suspend the arrest warrant as a means of negotiating a settlement could withstand the withering attacks he would most certainly suffer from advocacy groups and journalists calling for justice.
Instead of trying to bring Sudan to the gates of some just and democratic Eden, the West must encourage the Sudanese to work out a limited and practical settlement that tries to bring a measure of security and stability to this very fragile state by balancing the varying interests of ethnic groups, contending centers of political power, and regional authority structures. What Sudan needs right now is to focus on a political deal between the north and south based on a realistic appraisal of what is achievable under the current unfavorable circumstances.
This would be best done by getting the CPA back on track, implementing the treaty’s provisions on the 2011 referendum for South Sudan’s independence, and preparing between now and then for an amicable divorce between North and South Sudan. The alternatives are not viable since the south would likely view any attempt to postpone or cancel the referendum as an act of war.
If the international community persists in imposing idealized standards of justice on Sudan, it will end up inciting violence in the future that would make past atrocities pale by comparison. By overlooking the political context on the ground, the ICC’s order for Bashir’s arrest makes such a potential catastrophe a bit more likely.
Justice and peace are noble aspirations, but they cannot both be had in Sudan right now. In seeking a justice that cannot be obtained, rather than a realistic peace that might be, the international community risks bringing Sudan not to the doors of Eden but to the gates of Hell.

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