Home | News    Saturday 4 July 2009

AU resolution on Sudan’s Bashir draws condemnation

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July 3, 2009 (WASHINGTON) — The decision by he African Union (AU) summit held in Libya offering Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir reprieve drew condemnation from Darfur rebel groups and human right groups alike.

The chairman of Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdel-Wahid Al-Nur said that the AU “has lost all legal and moral legitimacy”.

“This is shocking particularly coming from countries with values and a track record of fighting for human rights and their dignity,” Al-Nur said.

“The AU has effectively decided to grant an indicted war criminal immunity. They can no longer talk about being an organization that does not combat impunity,” he added.

Ahmed Hussein, the spokesperson for Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) said that “this is a sad day for Africa, Darfur people and to humanity”.

“The African leaders failed to seize this opportunity and prove to the world their position that they value the human lives lost in Darfur” Hussein said.

“This is disgraceful and a serious setback for this organization that as established to be a club to the African people. They decided to stand with the villain and not the victim” he added.

The JEM official said that his movement will now “reconsider” its dealings with the Pan-African group.

The director of International Justice Program at Human Rights Watch (HRW) expressed dismay at the AU resolution and said that Libya exercised “unprecedented bullying”.

“This is a reminiscent of the same tactics deployed by Bush’s administration [former US president] against the ICC since 2000”.

Dicker said that it is “wrong” to blame the ICC or the UN Security Council (UNSC) on the issue of the Darfur war crimes”.

“There was an independent UN commission of inquiry that included Africans. It was this panel that made the recommendation to the UNSC to refer the [Darfur] situation to the ICC precisely because the Sudanese judiciary failed to act as the first line of defense for victims of crimes over the years” he said.

Today several African officials said the decision was in response to the refusal of the UNSC to defer the arrest warrant under Article 16 of the Rome Statute.

“I think the frustration is misdirected. In fact, it needs to be directed by the African states at president Omer Al-Bashir and his government which has done nothing to bring justice to the people Darfur. This frustration is wildly misdirected to where it belongs at the ICC and the UNSC” he added.

In 2004 the UNSC formed a UN commission of inquiry to look into Darfur abuses headed by former President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) Italian Antonio Cassese.

The five-member commission included three African figures from Ghana, South Africa and Egypt.

The commission concluded that the government did not pursue a policy of genocide in the Darfur region but that Khartoum and government-sponsored Arab militias known as the Janjaweed engaged in “widespread and systematic” abuse that may constitute crimes against humanity.

They further said that Sudanese judiciary is “is unable or unwilling” to prosecute those crimes and thus recommended referring the situation to the ICC.

The UNSC issued resolution 1593 under chapter VII in March 2005 referring the situation in Darfur to the ICC. At the time Tanzania and Benin voted in support of the resolution while Algeria abstained.

(ST)

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  • 4 July 2009 09:33, by Kur

    The so-called AU has shown to African citizens and the world that it has become the facilitatorof evil which is destroying Africa. The AU stoodby when the people of Rwanda were slaughtered in broad day light by Hutu militias. Now the people of Darfur are being slaughtered in the same fashion and the AU has decided to protect the criminals. Those who care about the human rights in Africa and around the world must fight against this new line of dictatorship. Those who shed innocent blood cannot be allowed to go loose with their dirty crimes unchecked. Bashir must answer to what happened in Darfur. The European and the US must ensure that this resolution legalising impunity in Sudan is nulified.

    Kur

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    • 4 July 2009 13:01, by Jeremiah Mach

      i agree with you kur; look, i heard people talks about Au, but i pay no concerned at all, because Au has been an appendix of the Arabs League and will continue to be if the North Africa states are not excluded from the organization, let me point something wrong here, if we want a successful African continent, don’t assume that who is ever located in Africa geographically will work in the interest of Africa; i personally don’t believed if the north African countries does indeed accept African identity, i sometime think; why not we do it in the Europeans way, what i mean is that not every country in Europe is a member of the Eu, membership must be base on principle and obligation, not on geographical level, if the AU is to succeeds; then Arabs States in the north must cease their participation in the Arabs League because it is impossible to be both Arabs and African. the Latinos in South America has a Europeans background but are proud of their new home because they were born there. why are Arabs in the North Africa not satisfied of their African identity yet they were bone there, leave alone gardafi rhetoric of creating a united Africa.

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      • 4 July 2009 20:32, by Maruon Ayiei

        What an analogy Jeremiah? It is true the continent of Africa cannot be bond by just a geographical but by their believe of the continent. The countries like Libya, Egypt, Algeria and some merging West African countries are memeber of Arab League. The paradox is not their geographical but their believe and if they don’t believe in Africa, they will do more harm than good. Libya is in the forth-front of the United State of Africa. What good do they push for this Unity than now when the people of have seen such ploy. I can only thank Uganda President for saying to Libya President to sucked-up in Addis Ababa such ideology. The strategy is to broader their Arab league and suprior to other countries. Why they shield the Most Wanted Criminal in this case. It is absurd to harbour criminal and flash African blood into the abyss every year. Africa should be divided base on interest not just a geographical. The Alliance of African Countries need to a testiment of what best for Africa people and not for countries who are proud of killing of other African people. In whatever they do, they first Arab and second Africa.

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