Home | News    Thursday 24 February 2011

Sudan & AU break silence on Libya as death toll rises

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February 23, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese government issued a statement reacting to events in Libya and called on the latter to exercise “self-restraint” and cease “use of force” in the face of burgeoning demonstrations against the four-decade rule of Muammar Gaddafi.

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FILE - African Union Commission Chairperson Jean Ping (L) talks with Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi ahead of 13th AU summit in Sirte, Libya (AP)

Libya continues to sink deeper into chaos as its defiant ruler Muammar Gaddafi battles to retain control of the capital Tripoli amid an international outcry over the rising death toll and mass exodus by foreigners.

Hundreds were killed since the demonstrations broke out on 17 February and spread from the eastern city of Benghazi, which is now totally controlled by the opposition, to the capital Tripoli.

Italian foreign ministry on Wednesday said the clashes killed 1,000 people.

Sudan’s foreign ministry on Wednesday said it was gravely concerned by reports of mounting violence against civilians, advising Libya to refrain from use of forces against demonstrators, as reported by the country’s official news agency (SUNA).

“The ties of brotherhood, neighborhood, history and shared fate obliges Sudan to advise the Libyan leadership on the necessity of ceasing the use of all forms of violence against the Libyan people and resolve disputes in peaceful ways in order to spare the Libyan people more bloodshed,” the ministry said in its statement.

Ironically, Sudan used heavy force to break up small anti-government protests which erupted on 30 January in response to a campaign organized via the internet by youth groups inspired by the popular revolts convulsing the Middle East.

Libya borders Sudan and its western region of Darfur in which conflict between the Sudanese government and ethnic rebels killed 300,000 people and displaced more than 2.7 million since it erupted in 2003, according to UN figures.

The ministry warned that failure to de-escalate the situation would reflect negatively on regional stability.

Libya is currently hosting Khalil Ibrahim, the leader of Darfur rebel group Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). Gaddafi offered sanctuary to the rebel leader after he was denied entry to his erstwhile ally Chad following a thaw in its previously tense ties with Sudan.

The spokesman of Sudan’s foreign ministry, Khalid Musa, on Monday said that Darfur rebels could be involved in Libya’s clashes after reports emerging from the country suggested that Gaddafi is using “African mercenaries” to quell the uprising.

But JEM’s spokesman Ahmad Hussein strongly condemned the ministry’s suggestion, accusing it of inciting anti-Sudanese hatred and endangering the lives of its own citizens in Libya.

Gaddafi’s regime attempted to unite - and in some instances supported - some of Darfur rebel factions despite being an ally of the Sudanese government.

In a related development, Sudan has formed an emergency taskforce to assist its citizens who are trying to flee Libya.

Karar al-Tohami, head of the committee, told Reuters 100-200 people had already fled across the remote border to Sudan and were being housed in a camp and that they were considering using military planes if necessary to evacuate civilians from Libya.

Tohami said that Sudanese military planes will evacuate as many as 500,000 of its citizens.

The African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council today also issued a statement condemning the “indiscriminate and excessive use of force and lethal weapons against peaceful protesters in violation ”.

“The aspirations of the people of Libya for democracy, political reform, justice and socio-economic development are legitimate" stressing that the “territorial integrity and unity” should be preserved.

AU commission chairman Jean Ping said in separate remarks that he is in contact with Libyan authorities as part of his efforts to put an end "to the spilling of the blood".

Ping stressed that "only dialogue and consultation will enable the Libyans to find appropriate solutions to the challenges facing their country and to embark upon the necessary reforms to fulfill the aspirations of their people".

The Pan-African body said it will send a mission to Libya to assess the situation there.

The UK based rights group Amnesty International welcomed AU’s statement but stressed that the proposed mission should include a specific investigation into reports that armed elements are being transported from African countries to Libya.

Amnesty International noted its criticism of the AU for failing to address the events in Libya earlier contrary to other regional and international blocs.

"Amnesty International renewed its call on the African Union to take steps to secure the land borders into Libya and monitor suspicious flights to Libya".

Gaddafi, who has billions of dollars at his disposal, is one of the AU’s largest benefactors providing along with four other countries 75% of its budget. The Libyan leader has been pushing for an African unity government for years, saying it is the only way Africa can develop without Western interference. He wanted the organization’s small executive body to be granted enhanced powers and remodeled as the African Authority.

The AU’s statement made no reference to the issue of accountability, a contentious issue for the African bloc which has grown hostile over last few years to what it called abuse of universal jurisdiction that targeted its leaders.

The UN Security Council yesterday condemned the violence against pro-democracy protesters in Libya and called for accountability on the part of those who carried out attacks against them.

Former Liberian president Charles Taylor is currently being tried by Special Court for Sierra Leone while ex-Chadian leader Hissène Habré is awaiting trial in Senegal.

In 2009, the Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir was charged by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged war crimes in Darfur.

Gaddafi has lobbied the AU successfully in July 2009 to adopt a resolution barring any country on the continent to apprehend Bashir even if they were under legal obligation to do so.

Libyan deputy ambassador to the United Nations, who disowned Gaddafi, called on the ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo to investigate what he described as genocide and crimes against humanity committed by Muammar Gaddafi during the ongoing unrest.

But Ocampo said in statement today that he cannot investigate crimes in Libya unless the country’s authorities accept the court’s jurisdiction or the UNSC refers the situation to the ICC.

"The decision to do justice in Libya should be taken by the Libyan people," ICC prosecutor said in a statement.

He said the office would act only after Libya accepts the court’s jurisdiction or the Security Council refers the situation to the court.

(ST)

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  • 24 February 2011 10:11, by Peter Mading

    This reporter is very keen on the remarkable words from the Sudanese Government -that to Exercise " Self-restrainT" and cease "use of force" . The reporter really meant the idle hypocracy of the Sudanese Government. Same Sudanese government are accussing Darfurians for intervention and yet they are Sudanese and now issued un realistics Statement to Muammer Gaddafi.

    Gaddafi is better than you men. Why not to wait and see what will happen to Sudan after Gaddafi will be overthrown?

    Gaddafi was asking Bashir to cooperate with ICC and at the same blaming the North of South Secession. Now Bashir will ask Gaddafi to cooperate with ICC and blame Tunisa and Egypt for initiating change in the Islamic world that might affect Sudan soon though Bashir promised entired Sudanese that he would not be reelected by 2015. Who among the Northern Sudanese will wait until that time? Bashir opinion was to be a long term ruling President in Sudan.You see the point.

    repondre message

    • 24 February 2011 12:20, by Sudani Logik

      Khartoum’s hypocrisy is beyond belief! They’re just as violent and oppressive as Gaddafi’s regime, its only a matter of time for Bashir... he’ll only be left with the likes of Sam.Eto and Jalaby for support.

      repondre message

    • 25 February 2011 04:50, by Matung Neng-neng

      I love Gaddafi, he is good man, in his heart he serve both Arabs and Black African equally same as his nation. Gaddafi declared war against arrest of Sudanese President Omar AlBashir due to violation of national constituts. Every day Gaddafi is talking about Affrica Unity, he supplied the Sudanese Rebels (SPLA) with millions guns and other weapons to fight Sudan Government whom is consider as Islamic and Arab Government at free of cost. Can anyone from Arab country do that? Of course not. In fact, I condenm the Libyan protesters for they deserve to be punished if they wrongly imitate what have been happening in Sudan where international involves in with err of violation of national constituents which now are spread widely causing disaster in wrongly assumption as if USA have intentionally planned to fight Arabs and remove them from Africa. This is the concept though if the ICC make its wrong involvement again than the revolution will rise all over Arab and Communist Countries whom USA don’t like because their civilian will hope that Arab and communists countries Leaders will be arrested if they refuse to stepdown. I think such ugly face politic will drive our world to where we don’t want it. Please think care about what to say, this is not right thing to do. Okay! Thank you!
      Matung

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    • 25 February 2011 05:37, by Dinka Dominated SPLA

      shame to Sudan/Khartoum gov.

      repondre message

  • 24 February 2011 10:16, by Miamangawai

    You arabs, be aware of the critical situation on the ground. Gadafi thought to be the onle brave african, but now people are loosing confidence in him. What took place in Cairo will soon happen in Tripoli, Khartoum and other arabian states.

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  • 24 February 2011 14:59, by ahme adam

    Listen all of you southern bastards you are not part of sudan, you are a different country and bashir is not your president so fuck off

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    • 24 February 2011 17:58, by Omoni Atari

      Adam, shut up,
      dont get mad like "mad Gaddafi"
      southerners still have their parliamentarians in that dusty city,khartoum. And there is not shortcut for peace,July 9 still a head of you son.

      repondre message

  • 24 February 2011 19:31, by South Elite Eye (see)

    How could you remove the pecks in Gadafi eyes while you have a log in your own eye?
    It is so funny that Sudan Government is advising Libyan counter part not to use force. While they are the most brutal regime after Somalian El Shabab.

    What about those demonstrators you jailed in Khartoum and beaten their mothers and sisters? Hahaha your hands are tinted with blood, how dare you comment while genocide is happening in Sudan? I am afraid we know all your crooked tactics.

    SEE

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    • 24 February 2011 20:16, by Stephen Gatloth K

      Only to the article ,Gatloth Gai in Bentiu.

      north African coutries uprising will only affect the Arab inhabited countries becuase I believe that demonistration is backing by muslim brotherhood.

      let the arab overthrow fellow arab presidents.

      repondre message

      • 25 February 2011 07:54, by HONEY

        ILOVE GADAFFI, HE IS A BRAVE SON OF AFRICA AND A GOOD HUMAN BEING. HE MADE LIBYA ONE OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL COUNTRIES IN NORTH AFRICA EVEN THOUGH HE IS A DICTATOR. WE AFRICANS HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THAT DEMOCRACY IS NOT FOR EVERY ONE.

        WHAT DO LIBYANS WANT? AN ELECTION EVERY 5 SECONDS? CHANGING REGIMES LEADERS ALL THE TIME MEANS HAVING LEADERS WHO DONT CARE ABOUT THE FUTURE BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT GOING TO BE THERE FOR LONG.

        THE MAN LOVES HIS COUNTRY

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