Gillian Gibbons is expected to arrive in Britain tomorrow morning after being pardoned and freed by Sudan’s president.
While this is of course great news, like the business with the sailors and Iran, I can’t help but get the feeling that we have been shafted. This seems to have been orchestrated from the start to embarrass Britain, and while at every turn the Sudanese were reiterating that it was a ‘storm in a teacup’, she was charged, convicted and sentenced.
The dictator of the Sudan, Omar al-Basir, has always been anti-colonialism, ergo anti British, and he must be loving the fact that he managed to get one up on the old Imperial power.
Despite not really doing anything wrong, by even the Sudan’s crazy laws, she still went down for it, which I can only assume was planned for quite a while by Mr Basir and co. Then amazingly when she was convicted a spontaneous demonstration took place by angry citizens at the lenient sentence. It seemed that thousands of people spontaneously took to the streets calling for the death of Mrs Gibbons. Then, again spontaneously, all went home after precisely two hours!
Basir also kept the negotiators, who had gone to the Sudan to get Gibbons released, waiting for an extra day in an obvious snub.
As I said all through this Britain should get tough with the Sudan. Britain gives hundreds of millions of pounds worth of aid to the Sudan. Let’s see how funny he thinks it is when we take that away until he sorts out the situation in Darfur. We should also make sure that the UN pulls its finger out and sends peacekeeping troops into Darfur, with a large amount of British troops.
Then in about two years, send in the SAS to arrest Basir and take him to the Hague for war crimes and genocide.