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Arab justice ministers back Sudan’s position on Bashir indictment

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October 12, 2008 (CAIRO) – The Arab justice ministers have voiced their support to Sudan in face of an indictment by the International Criminal Court (ICC) of president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir.

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Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir greets several thousand of his supporters in the town of el Geneina in the far western part of Darfur, Sudan, Thursday, July 24, 2008 (AP)

In mid-July the ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo announced that he is seeking an arrest warrant for Al-Bashir.

The ICC’s prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo filed 10 charges: three counts of genocide, five of crimes against humanity and two of murder. In early October ICC judges have officially started reviewing the case in a process that could possibly drag on to next year.
The top Arab legal officials meeting in Cairo denounced what they described as “attempts to politicize the principles of international justice”.

“The request by the ICC prosecutor to issue an arrest warrant for Sudanese president is not based on sound legal grounds justifying it” the ministers said in a statement.

Sudan has requested a few months back a meeting of the Arab justice ministers to discuss the ICC row.

The justice ministers also hailed steps taken by Sudan to prosecute Darfur war crimes perpetrators through the appointment of a special prosecutor last August and establishment of courts to look right abuses in the war ravaged regions.

They also expressed their intention to assist Sudan in modifying its penal codes to incorporate crimes that are part of the ICC jurisdiction.

The Sudanese justice minister Abdel-Basit Sabdarat told the Associated Press that he thought the statement was “moderate” despite the language being watered down more than the Khartoum had requested.

Sudan has reportedly wanted the Arab ministers to condemn resolution 1593 which referred the Darfur case to the ICC and demand that it be withdrawn.

The Kuwaiti justice minister Hussein Al-Hareiti who presided over the session told Kuwait official news agency (KUNA) that the statement does not conflict with international resolutions”.

He also said that the justice ministers were able to come up with an “agreeable version”.

But Mahjoub Hussein, the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-Unity) spokesperson condemned the Arab Justice Ministers resolution saying it is a “reaffirmation of the status of the Arab League as a biased and unfair mediator in the Darfur crisis”.

“The decision of the Arab Justice Ministers reflects the real functions of the ministries of justice in working to promote the protection all dictatorships” he added.

Sudan has not ratified the Rome Statute, but the UN Security Council (UNSC) triggered the provisions under the Statute that enables it to 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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  • 13 October 2008 09:24, by Mr Point

    What is the logic of the Arab League?

    They say “The request by the ICC prosecutor to issue an arrest warrant for Sudanese president is not based on sound legal grounds justifying it”.
    In that case the Court can not grant the arrest warrant for Sudanese persident.

    The Sudanese President has always said there is no evidence of government crimes in Darfur. Look at his interview on YouTube video

    Why is Khartoum in a panic? If they are right then there is no evidence and there cannot be a trial.

    But, if there is evidence and the trial would prove there were crimes in Darfur then the Sudanese president would be in trouble.

    Why would the Arab League support one man against the human rights of thousands and thousands of Darfur citzens?

    repondre message

    • 13 October 2008 10:02, by HONEY

      If the arabs believe that Bashir is innocent, then let him step down and clear his name. Arabs are abnormal, why panic if you did not rape and kill?

      repondre message

  • 13 October 2008 14:27, by Akol Liai Mager

    Darfur has just widen an exit route of Sudan from Arab League. Furs are just good Arabs and good Muslims only if they are killing Southerners and Nuba, but are bad and traitors if they asking for power sharing.

    Now Arab League justice ministers have given credit to Fur armed movements and this NIF goverment will be the last Arab government in Sudan.

    Furs have a choice now between two: 1. To join hands with their African brothers in East, South and Central Sudan in a movement for total liberation so that they get their rights of becoming Presidents, Foreign, Interior, Defence, Finance ministers and Chief of the Army. 2. Or, surrounder to their enemy, remain slaves and loyalists. This is message Arab justice ministers want to send to Fur; Furs must understand that we will stand by our Arab brothers no matter what the csae is.

    In conclusion, Arab ministers position was expected, however, what world was not expecting is the position of Kuwaity minister. Kuwaity minister has betrayed Al Sabaha’s grandson who died fighting Saddam-Al Bashir forces in the night of 2nd August 1990. Dear minister, it is a disguesting position. The threat of Iraq against Kuwait has never been removed by hanging Saddam. Shi`a-Iraq is just waiting for US exit and will attack Kuwait and Saudi Arabia again this time to make them Shi`a. Think again and look at Al Bashir with your eyes out, he is the same Al Bashir of 1990.

    Darfur will issue death of Sudan’s Arab membership and we will be proud to have Arab Sudan in place of "Sudan Arab".

    Long Live Sudan For Sudanese! And Down for Sudan For Arab League!

    repondre message

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