The International Criminal Court (ICC) has indicted Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on every crime under its mandate: war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Such charges should have left Sudan’s leader marginalized and vulnerable to arrest. Yet Bashir has not only evaded arrest, he’s also been able to travel the globe and rub shoulders with world leaders. Last year, he visited South Africa, a prominent supporter of the ICC, for an African Union summit, and has forged a new relationship with Riyadh, enjoying a prominent place in the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.
Bashir’s recent travels suggest that this rehabilitation has accelerated in ominous ways. Earlier this month, Bashir traveled to Uganda, an ICC member state with a treaty obligation to arrest him. Bashir feted his Ugandan counterpart at President Yoweri Museveni’s fourth swearing-in, where Museveni introduced Bashir and described the ICC as “a bunch of useless people.” Recent reports also suggest that the European Union plans to partner with Bashir to stem migrant flows from north Africa. To top things off, the Sudanese president has applied for a visa to attend the 2016 United Nations General Assembly. What remains of the diplomatic sanction attached to an ICC indictment?