It looked like the Arab League was putting serious pressure on the Syrian regime, when it said it would send a team to investigate charges that more than 5,000 people have been killed by President Bashar Assad’s regime.
But the announcement today that the head of the Arab League’s human rights monitoring team is Sudan General Mohamed Ahmad Al-Dabi has prompted many to dismiss the investigation as a whitewash.
“It is perplexing that the Arab League chose the Khartoum regime’s General Al-Dabi to lead its team monitoring the Syria regime because of his record of turning a blind eye to human rights crimes, or worse,” said Sudan analyst Omer Ismail, of the Enough Project.
“When [Dabi] served as Sudan’s head of Military Intelligence and when he oversaw implementation of the Darfur Security Arrangement, alleged war crimes including genocide were committed on his watch,” said Ismail. “Instead of heading a team entrusted with a probe of alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity by Syria, the general should be investigated by the ICC for evidence of similar crimes in Sudan.”
Photo: Sudan’s Lt. Gen. Mohamed Ahmed Mustafa Al-Dabi, the head of the Arab League monitoring mission to Syria, gestures during a meeting in Khartoum on December 21, 2011. Launched in the hopes of ending months of unrest and quelling the regime’s violent crackdown on dissent, the Arab League observer mission has been welcomed by Syria, but the opposition has been critical and called instead for the issue to be taken to the UN. (Ashraf Shazly /AFP/Getty Images)