Home | News    Monday 14 July 2008

Darfur rebels and refugees decry attempts to suspend ICC indictments

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July 13, 2008 (WASHINGTON) – A number of Darfur rebel groups as well as refugee camps called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to go forward with its plans to name new suspects of war crimes.

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Refugees who fled the conflict in Sudan’s western Darfur region wait outside an aid distribution building at Djabal camp near Gos Beida in eastern Chad June 12, 2008 (Reuters)

The ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo will hold a press conference tomorrow to present his new case on Darfur crimes. It is widely expected that he will request an arrest warrant against Sudanese president Omar Hassan Al-Bashir.

It was reported that China and Russia are trying to invoke Article 16 of the Rome Statue, which forms the basis of the ICC, to suspend any indictment of Al-Bashir.

Article 16 of the Rome Statue states that “no investigation or prosecution may be commenced or proceeded with under this Statute for a period of 12 months after the Security Council, in a resolution adopted under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, has requested the Court to that effect; that request may be renewed by the Council under the same conditions”.

The UN and world diplomats fear reprisal by Khartoum against peacekeepers and aid organizations providing food to millions of refuges in the war ravaged region.

Sudan’s U.N. ambassador Abdel-Mahmood Mohamed told reporters that “all options are on the table” if Sudan president is indeed indicted.

“The limit is the sky” he responded to a question at the UN headquarters about measures Khartoum could take.

Mohamed met with the UN Secretary General on Friday urging him to step in and prevent the ICC prosecution.

“We hold you responsible if our President is indicted” the Sudanese envoy told the UN chief, the Inner City Press website reported.

But Darfur rebel groups cautioned against attempts to freeze arrest warrants against Sudan president or any other senior official.

“The international community should stand behind the ICC prosecutor in bringing justice to our people” Khalil Ibrahim leader of Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) told Sudan Tribune today by satellite phone from Darfur.

“There is no reason to be scared from any retaliation by Al-Bashir. He is too weak to do anything and we exposed this in our May 10th attack” Ibrahim said.

Another rebel leader said that if the UN Security Council (UNSC) adopts a resolution based on Article 16 it will “demonstrate moral and political irresponsibility”.

“The UN Security Council (UNSC) should uphold its own resolutions. For how long will Sudan be allowed to renege on the UNSC resolutions?” Abdel-Wahid Al-Nur leader of Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) told Sudan Tribune from Washington where he is on a visit.

“The ICC is the only hope for the people of Darfur. It is the only venue that is making any progress. I urge the UNSC not to mix justice and politics. I ask them to postpone the killings in Darfur and not postpone justice” he said.

The JEM leader vowed to protect the UN-AU hybrid forces and aid workers in Darfur.

“We are committed to protecting the peacekeepers and aid organizations. We will do everything in our power to ensure their safety. They are here to help Darfuris” he said.

Ibrahim also warned that JEM will pursue other options if Sudan head of state is allowed to evade a possible arrest warrant.

“Al-Bashir said all options are open if they charge him with war crimes. Our message is that our options are open too should he not comply with ICC decisions. Our arm is far reaching and he knows it” the JEM chief said.

Hussein Abu-Sharati, the spokesperson of Darfur displaced and refugees at the Kalma camp in South Darfur, with some 90,000 residents, said that “there is not a single dissenting voice among displaced when it comes to supporting bringing Sudanese officials before the ICC”.

Al-Nur said he received calls from Darfur refugees in Sudan and Chad voicing support to the ICC.

“I got calls from six IDP camps in Chad and eleven inside Sudan. They urged me to convey their messages. They said that someone who commits genocide should be brought to justice. That is the only way to stop their killings” the SLM chief said.

The leader of a Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) faction of Ahmed Abdel-Shafi said that the Sudanese president “bears responsibility for the crimes in his capacity as commander in chief”.

“The Sudanese people and marginalized population will be more than happy to see Al-Bashir prosecuted” he added.

The Sudanese government has vowed not to deal with the ICC or hand over any of its citizens to The Hague.

The UNSC resolution 1593, which in March 2005 referred the situation in Darfur to the ICC’s prosecutor, requires Sudan to cooperate fully with ICC investigations.

The judges of the ICC issued their first arrest warrants for suspects accused of war crimes in Sudan’s Darfur region a year ago.

The warrants were issued for Ahmed Haroun, state minister for humanitarian affairs, and militia commander Ali Mohamed Ali Abdel-Rahman, also know as Ali Kushayb. Sudan has so far rejected handing over the two suspects.

Sudan has not ratified the Rome Statue, but under the Rome Statue the UNSC can refer situations in non-State parties to the world court if it deems that it is a threat to international peace and security.

(ST)

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  • 14 July 2008 04:37, by Ajang Aguer Pageer

    The UN will appear to be the most useless organization that man has ever formed on this planet if it fails to support the ICC in bringing the Sudanese president and his vice to justice because this is the heart of the Sudanese problems.And the other impotent organizations like AU should stop barking or remain neutral if they don’t support the ICC.If Bashir has options,everyone else has more options than he has, so there should be no fear on how he will react.

    repondre message

  • 14 July 2008 08:59, by Mr Famous Big_Logic_Boy

    It is absolutely stupid to suspend those charges against Mr Terrorist and sadist beshir, because a very stupid human like Abdel-Mahmood Mohamed thoughts that those bloodshed in Durfur are just for animals not human beings like him. I urge UN and Rome Statue to take any action they can do to satisfied our long suffering as African Sudanese and bring unity for democracy to Sudan, because a single man like beshir has nothing to do with in a beautiful country like Sudan, he is just a terrorist, sadist, coward, illiterate and just unwanted man on this earth just because of his bad characters of carrying genocide against African Sudanese (black),countries like China and Russia has no power to invoke Article 16 of the Rome Statue, china is a major encourager of beshir by supplying weapons and now even getting involve In taking action against Durfurians instead of acting as peacekeepers.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7503428.stm

    Therefore is nothing to wait or show fear from beshir, we don’t need any justices or whatever, enough is enough because a lot of bloods and lives were lost because of him. However any Durfurians must not show any fear, let’s support the idea of Abdel-Wahid Al-Nur and his rebels plus Rome statue that The ICC is the only hope for the people of Darfur. It is the only venue that is making any progress. I urge the UNSC not to mix justice and politics. I ask them to postpone the killings in Darfur and not postpone justice” he said. The JEM leader vowed to protect the UN-AU hybrid forces and aid workers in Darfur.
    The JEM leader vowed to protect the UN-AU hybrid forces and aid workers in Darfur.
    “We are committed to protecting the peacekeepers and aid organizations. We will do everything in our power to ensure their safety. They are here to help Darfuris” he said.Ibrahim also warned that JEM will pursue other options if Sudan head of state is allowed to evade a possible arrest warrant.
    I by my logic, I urge UN and Rome Statue plus weak AU to ensure that those three terrorist s Ahmed Haroun, Ali Kushayb, and beshir are charged accordingly and meaningfully like what had happened in USA, there is no need for those cowards to show fear by saying someone who commits genocide should be brought to justice. No justices to those criminals who had attempted to destroy Africans in Sudan.

    View online : LINK TO BESHIR’s TOP AND BEST FRIEND

    repondre message

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