Home | News    Friday 1 August 2008

US abstains from voting on UNAMID extension resolution

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

By Wasil Ali

July 31, 2008 (WASHINGTON) – The US made the highly unexpected move of abstaining from voting on a UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution extending the mandate of the UN-African Union (AU) hybrid force in Darfur (UNAMID).

JPEG - 13.8 kb
Mia Farrow (2nd L), Chairperson of Dream for Darfur Advisory Board, Ambassador Richard Williamson (2nd R), US Special Envoy to Sudan, listen to US Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations Alejandro Wolf (R) during meeting on June 17, 2008 at UN headquarters in New (AFP)

With 14 votes in favour and an abstention by the United States, a resolution was adopted to extend the Darfur peacekeeping mission which was authorized by the Council exactly one year ago – for another 12 months to 31 July 2009. The current mandate expires tonight.

Britain and France accepted wording that makes clear the council would be willing to discuss freezing any International Criminal Court (ICC) indictment of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for genocide to achieve peace in Darfur.

Earlier this afternoon the US raised an 11th hour objection to a paragraph incorporated in the resolution that takes in consideration, concerns expressed by the African Union delegations, Libya and South African, that any indictment of Sudan President by the ICC might jeopardize the Darfur peace process.

Following objections by Western countries the verbage in the draft resolution has been watered down during negotiations between UNSC members from an earlier version this week calling for a decision to defer the ICC prosecution against the Sudanese head of state.

Some UNSC members in explaining their votes today contended that the AU, Arab League, Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) called for invoking Article 16 which meant that two thirds of the world countries are in support and that ignoring that is a “sign of disrespect” by the council.

The ICC’s prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo asked pre-trial judges in mid-July to issue arrest warrants for Al-Bashir.

Ocampo filed 10 charges: three counts of genocide, five of crimes against humanity and two of murder. Judges are expected to take months to study the evidence before deciding whether to order Al-Bashir’s arrest.

It is not clear what prompted the change in US stance but a diplomat who attended the consultations told Sudan Tribune that the deputy US Representative to the UN Alejandro Wolf received firm instructions from Washington that the draft text of the UNAMID resolution is not acceptable.

Another diplomat told Sudan Tribune that the US special envoy to Sudan Richard Williamson was behind the change of heart with regards to the UNAMID resolution.

Prior to the ICC announcement Williamson told reporters earlier this month that the US adminstration "does not want to impinge in any way on the ICC prosecutor’s discretion to go forward".

"Let me make it absolutely clear that the United States does not believe there should be impunity. United States believes restorative justice is important in societies that gone through trauma and certainly where there has been genocide" he added.

The last minute change angered other UNSC members who were getting ready to vote on the resolution, said the UN diplomat who spoke on condition of anonymity.

In explaining the US abstention Wolf said his government strongly supports UNAMID but that the “language added to the resolution would send the wrong signal to the Sudanese president Al-Bashir and undermine efforts to bring him and others to justice”.

“This council cannot ignore the terrible crimes committed throughout the conflict in Darfur and the massive human destruction that the world has witnessed” he added.

The statement marks yet another dramatic shift in Washington’s attitude towards the ICC which it had vehemently opposed fearing frivolous cases against its troops stationed worldwide.

Washington had threatened to veto resolution 1593 referring Darfur case to the ICC adopted in March 2005 but eventually bent down to domestic and international pressure and abstained from voting.

Earlier today the UNSC delegations engaged in marathonic discussions trying to get the US to vote for the resolution in its current format. However Wolf made it clear that the US administration wants the paragraph removed altogether.

One proposal the US put forward is for a technical rollover of UNAMID until Monday while differences are ironed out however it was rejected by other countries.

The Russian envoy addressing his US counterpart said that there is no guarantee that an agreement would be reached in a few days.

The Chinese ambassador said he has no objection to the technical rollover and that it is up to the British sponsors of the resolution and others to determine the best course of action.

He also reminded the UNSC members that China had been a proponent of the temporary extension before and that it will not object to it.

(ST)

Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 1 August 2008 06:56, by Moses Kur Akech

    That is good for US to object the language which supports impunity against Bashir.
    No impunity against perpetrators who committed genocidal atrocities, nor can amnesty be given to unremorseful and unrepentant perpetrators who had committed massive human right abuses against their own civilians. It would be good if the indictment gets approved by judges and remain pending on Bashir if he refuses to go to Hague for trial. It does not matter how long he may spend on run but ICC will still find him like former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic who spent 13 yrs on run but got trapped a few weeks ago.

    repondre message

Comment on this article



The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.



Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


Sudan’s Constitutional Declaration was reduced to absurdity 2019-08-13 20:31:25 By Mahmoud A. Suleiman After paying tributes to the martyrs and hoping healing for wounded and offer sincere greetings to the rebellious Sudanese people who are inevitably victorious, having (...)

Options and opportunities for SPLM-N al-Hilu to join Sudan’s transition 2019-08-13 20:06:06 By Ibrahim B. Musa Despite the initial signing of the political on July, 17th, 2019 and constitutional declaration on August 4th, 2019, as well as the previous exhausting efforts made in (...)

Can Sudan achieve peace and democratic transition? 2019-08-13 07:37:28 By Rosalind Marsden Sudan has a unique opportunity to embrace democratic transition but there is no room for complacency. Comprehensive reforms and a united democratic front will be key to (...)


MORE






Latest Press Releases


Sudanese lawyers and Human rights defenders back calls for civil rule 2019-04-26 10:22:06 Press statement by 55 Sudanese lawyers and Human rights defenders on Sudan Sit-in and Peaceful Protest Khartoum -24/04/2019 We, the undersigned (55) Sudanese lawyers and human rights defenders, (...)

South Sudan’s Lafon youth condemn killings of civilians by Pari community 2019-04-03 21:54:29 Press Statement on the Fighting between Pari/ Pacidi and Lotuko/Lokiri on 24/3/2019 Release by The Lafon County Youth Union: We, the Lafon County Youth Union hereby condemn the atrocities and (...)

Joseph Malwal Dong joined the SPLM/A -IO 2019-04-02 08:35:02 SPLM/A (IO) Press Release 1/4/2019 On Hon. Joseph Malwal Dong Joined the SPLM/A (IO) The leadership of the SPLM/A (IO) would like to seize this precious opportunity to announce to members and (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2019 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.