Sudanese President Bashir, who’d previously shown few qualms in provocativelytraipsing across Africa after his indictment by the ICC, visiting allies that he knew were non-signatories to the Court, has recently backed off a planned trip to neighboring Uganda. Why? Well, Kampala hasn’t exactly been clear on the matter, but it seems that even the faintest threat of being arrested (Uganda has ratified the ICC’s Rome Statute) was enough to dissuade Bashir from the chance of looking foolish — and of ending up in the dock in The Hague.
This isn’t surefire proof that the ICC warrant is “working,” of course. Bashir remains pretty safely ensconced in power — at least as long as he remains in Sudan. But this is exactly the point of the of the warrant, to constrain Bashir in his movement. Whether it will actually result in his eventual arrest — or, even better, a viable peace settlement in the country — is far from clear, but if Uganda is willing to arrest send mixed signals about arresting Bashir, well, then that’s a step at least.