carnegie logo

Babylon & Beyond

Observations from Iraq, Iran,
Israel, the Arab world and beyond

« Previous | Babylon & Beyond Home | Next »

SUDAN: President Bashir accused of amassing billions in illicit wealth

Bashir money pic Sudan denied allegations Saturday by an international prosecutor that President Omar Hassan Ahmed Bashir, who is wanted for crimes against humanity, has stolen about $9 billion from one of Africa’s poorest countries.

In a U.S. diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the prosecutor for the International Criminal Court, said if the breadth of Bashir’s wealth became known, it would “destroy his reputation” among the Sudanese, many of whom support the president’s defiance of the West.

“Ocampo suggested if Bashir’s stash of money were disclosed (he put the figure at possible $9 billion), it would change Sudanese public opinion from him being a ‘crusader’ to that of a thief,” according to the March 2009 document outlining the prosecutor's meeting with American officials.

These accusations are “just propaganda -- Ocampo using false information to create political pressure," Rabie Abdelati, a senior member of Bashir's ruling National Congress Party, told Reuters. "I don't think President Bashir has a bank account in Europe or America or the Arab world. If President Bashir had a bank account in his name or another name it would be very easy for them to confiscate it.”

Abdelati added: "We are challenging them to say where the money is kept. If they can find this account then we give them license to take the money inside it as a prize."

Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court for genocide and crimes against humanity stemming from sectarian fighting in the Sudan’s western Darfur region. About 300,000 people have died in the conflict there in recent years from fighting, disease and hunger.

The president, who came to power in a bloodless coup in 1989, is viewed by many in Africa and the Middle East as being unfairly targeted by an international court that advances U.S. and Western agendas. The war crimes charges have limited Bashir’s ability to travel abroad and highlighted the president’s political predicament ahead of a crucial test on the nation’s future.

The mostly Christian and animist south is expected to vote on Jan. 9 to break away from Bashir’s predominantly Muslim north to become an independent state. The referendum is part of a peace treaty that ended a 21-year-old civil that killed more than 2 million people. Eighty percent of the nation’s oil output originates in the south, but Basjih has relied on the revenue for years to fund economic development projects in the north.

-- Jeffrey Fleishman in Cairo

 Photo: President Bashir. Credit: AFP  / Getty Images

Comments () | Archives (2)

Western banks are so willing to stash stolen money, the governments so happy to collect tax on the interest that accrues. Someone needs to remind them. Especially when they shout loudly about corrupt 3rd world leaders!

And the same old story - nothing new.....
everyone out to get as much as possible for himself whilst his country people starve.... I guess that £9 bill must also include all the money I have ever donated in the name of helping the starving children in the Sudan...

I have often wondered what happened to the millions we donate to Africa, yet there is little or no apparent progress... Now we know...!

So, I agree this man should be tried for crimes against his own people...

Oh, yes, who'd forget the Darfur. Outrageous conduct of this criminal.


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...

Recent News
Introducing World Now |  September 23, 2011, 8:48 am »



About the Contributors