Thursday 27 May 2010

Darfur war crimes + warship explosion

Further evidence of a growing determination to hold suspected war criminals to account. For the first time ever the International Criminal Court has called on the UN Security Council to take action against a country for failing to arrest suspects.

The country in question is Sudan, and the suspects former Humanitarian Affairs (!) Minister Ahmed Haroun - who allegedly recruited and armed the Janjaweed militia - and Ali Muhammad Abd-Al-Rahman, one of the militia leaders – both accused of war crimes in Darfur. Today Omar al-Bashir, himself an alleged war criminal, begins a new term as Sudan’s president. More than 300,000 people are believed to have been killed in Darfur. (See my blogs of March 4 and Aug 6, 2009).

On this day…..95 years ago, a huge explosion ripped through HMS Princess Irene, a British navy minelayer berthed at Sheerness in Kent. Aboard were 300 Royal Navy personnel plus 76 dockyard workers. Just one of them survived.

As the First World War was raging at the time, there were all sort of rumours that the blast had been caused by dastardly and ingenious enemy action, but an official inquiry came to the conclusion that it was actually a faulty mine primer. For more details, see A Disastrous History of Britain.

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