Home | News    Monday 26 July 2010

African Union drops resolution barring arrest of Sudanese president in continent

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July 25, 2010 (WASHINGTON) — The African Union (AU) delegates at the summit in Uganda agreed to remove language from the draft resolution that instructs its members not to cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) in apprehending the Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir.

The original draft text circulated on Saturday included the non-cooperation clause and criticism of the ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo.

"[The AU] reiterates its decision that AU member states shall not cooperate with the ICC in the arrest and surrender of President Bashir," the original draft said.

"[The AU] expresses concern over the conduct of the ICC prosecutor who has been making unacceptable statements on the case of President Bashir, of the Sudan and on other situations in Africa,".

However, the redrafted text obtained by Sudan Tribune removed both clauses following fierce debates between two opposing blocs led by South Africa on one side and Libya on the other.

The new resolution reiterates calls for freezing the arrest warrant by the UN Security Council (UNSC) which has previously went unanswered and urges members to work on amending provisions in the Rome Statute which is the ICC’s bible.

It further defers consideration of the request by ICC to open a Liaison Office to the AU in Addis Ababa.

"Those two parts caused a big fight between the delegates," an African diplomat, who was at the meeting, told Reuters. "Bashir is dividing us."

"South Africa, Ghana and Botswana led the argument that the clauses should be removed," a Western diplomat, who had seen the altered draft, told Reuters.

South Africa and Botswana have both been one of the few nations to dismiss the non-cooperation decision last year at the summit held in Libya and warned that they will arrest Bashir should he sets foot on their territories.

However, The Ghanaian President John Atta Mills at the time expressed support to the resolution saying he will not arrest Bashir should he visits Accra.

"Libya, Eritrea, Egypt and some other countries who have not signed up to the ICC fought strongly against that but they lost out in the end." the Western diplomat added.

The latest text will likely anger the Sudanese government which has recently received a boost after Bashir managed to visit Chad unharmed despite the country being an ICC member with an obligation to arrest him. Chad defended its decision not to arrest Bashir recalling the AU decision last year not to arrest him.

Sudanese officials in Kampala, backed by the AU secretariat, have been lobbying the other nations to take a stance against the ICC on the grounds that it is a European driven court, focusing on the continent only and turning a blind eye to atrocities elsewhere.

Sudan is semi-boycotting the summit by sending its ambassador to the AU to represent it over tension with the host country, Uganda.

African figures slammed at the summit slammed the ICC and its prosecutor saying the warrant against the Sudanese president undermine peace efforts and also said the tribunal is unfairly targeting Africans.

"To subject a sovereign head of state to a warrant of arrest is undermining African solidarity and African peace and security that we fought for for so many years," Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika, current head of the pan-African organization.

Mutharika told African leaders at the opening session of AU summit in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, to look for ways of resolving the conflict in Sudan without the need to arrest Bashir.

On Saturday, the Commission of the African Union (AU) Jean Ping, a long-time fierce critic of the court, slammed the ICC and said that its prosecutor "does not care" if his actions jeopardize peace in Sudan and reiterated assertions that the Hague tribunal is "bullying" Africa.

The ICC is currently handling 5 cases consisting of Uganda, Central African Republic (CAR), Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Darfur and Kenya.

With the exception of Darfur all other cases have been referred voluntarily by their respective governments to the ICC for investigation. The Kenyan case was initiated by the ICC prosecutor after the government there gave the ICC a green light to do so yet declining to refer it for political reasons.

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.

The African continent makes up the majority of the ICC members with 30 countries ratifying the Rome Statute.


Below is the revised text concerning the ICC

DRAFT DECISION ON THE PROGRESS REPORT OF THE COMMISSION ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF DECISION ASSEMBLY/AU/DEC.270 (XIV) ON THE SECOND MINISTERIAL MEETING ON THE ROME STATUTE OF THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT (ICC) Doc. EX.CL/607 (XVII)

The Executive Council,

1. TAKES NOTE of the Progress Report of the Commission on the Implementation of Decision Assembly/Au/Dec.270(xiv) on the Second Ministerial Meeting on the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and all comments and observations made by member States and ENDORSES the recommendations contained therein;

2. RECALLS the African Union (AU) position expressed through the Assembly Decision Assembly/AU Dec.270(XIV);

3. REGRETS that the AU request to the UN Security Council to defer the proceedings initiated against President Bashir of the Republic of the Sudan in accordance with Article 16 of the Rome Statute of ICC, has not been acted upon and REITERATES its request in this regard;

4. URGES all Member States to speak with one voice to ensure that the proposed amendment to Article 16 of the Rome Statute be taken into account by the UN relevant organs;

5. REQUESTS Member States that are states parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC to ensure that they adhere and honour their obligations to the AU under Article 23(2) of the Constitutive Act;

6. DECIDES to defer consideration of the request by ICC to open a Liaison Office to the AU in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia;

7. REQUESTS that the UN takes into account the decisions of the AU in this regard.

(ST)

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 26 July 2010 09:26, by DASODIKO

    Playing the lute of colonialism in 2010 makes African leaders look ridiculous living fifty years back. The country suppose to speak on this line is South Africa who suffered the worst aparthied system; unfortunately its the later who insists that justice be done for the people of Darfur and other parts of Sudan. The justice ICC is looking for is for Sudanese African origin citizens killed by Arab dominated regime in Khartoum asisted by Arab militias. The African leaders should know that those killed are African citizens not white citizens. The very sad part of the story is that the AU leaders compare the case of Darfur with Palestine and Iraq; although it never ever happen in any of Arab meetings or TVs that they have mentioned Africa by mistake,only news of hunger or war. I think the doll African leaders need to be taken to hospitals for special treatment for suffering inferiority complex deseases. Instead of talking about problems of your own house you talk about someone else. Somali problem that is in the top of your agenda is not brought by people of Darfur whom some of you hate them. Its Arab engineered problem that you maggot leaders always through African history defend their cause. Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and others that will come were all hit by Arabs not people of Darfur or people of South Sudan. My feelings tell me that without any doubt, those bombed Uganda must have passed through Sudan because Sudan regime was not happy with the statement made by Presidnet Musevini on issue of Bashir and ICC and that he will arrest him. And I think this was a clear message for all African leaders that anyone who cooperates with ICC will be threatened by the remenants of Al-Qaida wehther from Sudan or Somalia or Yemen.

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    • 26 July 2010 14:38, by Paul Ongee

      Commentators,

      Do not worry. The vocal critic like Jean Ping and all other Africans leaders who decline to cooperate with ICC are wasting their time. Few months away, all of them will be on board at the end of the day. Hence, watch out closely how things are playing out following the closer of AU summit. AU and its ally AL is no different in terms of conflict resolution. The only difference is AL has some of its members in Africa but AU has non in Middle East.

      Most of these leaders are educated in the West and desperately need western technology and continued support to run their country in one way or another. Their problem is how to Africanize the western system of governance in order to avoid catastrophic wars that keep plaguing the continent for generations to come. However, all of them will certainly be on board with the ICC.

      repondre message

  • 26 July 2010 09:40, by James Mangula

    The stand taken by African leaders against the arrest warrant for fugitive Sudanese leader is not an informed position. Paradoxically, these leaders are not actually defending Bashir per se, but their own destinies as well. Look at their hands! All these political gangsters know very well if they don’t miscarriage justice like what they are now doing. It is a commonsense if not all of them will be hunted by ICC in few decades to come, then few individuals like the current presidents of Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda who have been butchering their citizens for almost a decade in order to secure their continous leadership, will certainly find themselves summoned.A renown singer Bob Marely once said that "you can fool people, but you can not fool them all the time". Time will definitely come for all African masses when they will in one voice say "Enough is enough"!

    by Thonchamkelei

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    • 27 July 2010 01:01, by Padiet Gagag

      The wicked leaders always never seen their vellian acts is proud to them.they hate good because they are opposit of good. Let no one blames African leaders for their night vision,but just pray God so that he gives them wisdoms like other leaders in the world.

      Some leaders see that evil acts of Bashir,but their mouths are numb by money which they used to receive from Arab League in the Bank kathare which transelated Bank of loss. The Arab use to hires those whom the need to fight for them.However, the poor countreis will not see the evil acts of Bashir.

      repondre message

  • 26 July 2010 09:41, by Padiet Deng Alony

    Why African leaders talk of western bullying while they forgot bullying they are doing to their people. western are not bullying thier people like you some African are doing to thier own citizen without humanity. World became one village at moment and you can not do any thing in the corner that should not be heard by the others, if you are unable to solve your internal problem.

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  • 26 July 2010 10:48, by Hillary B.M.L,M

    Guys

    Come to my Help!

    I do not understand the Article, Clearly what does it mean? Is it mean Africa Leaders have dropped the support from Mr. Basher and that he could be arrested or the Support is there and he could not be arrested .

    Support for Arrest is there or not there?

    Help me to understand Commentators .

    repondre message

    • 26 July 2010 14:24, by Deng Akol Agut-tungdoun

      I am like you Hillary,

      I can not understand all these nonsense from AU. Bashir is claiming to be an arab, does it means the Africans are all arabs stoogs???

      Thse thurgs in Kampala ought to thinks twice. It is too much.
      I can help but wait to see. It is too unfortunate 4 the rest and fortunate 4 Bashir.

      Be bless,

      Deng Akol Agut-tungduon, a man far away from tribalism.

      repondre message

  • 26 July 2010 11:50, by Mr Famous Big_Logic_Boy

    For sake real Africans should not cooperate with arab policy, this people are known as voilent people and they never care who die and who survive. where around the World can someone sacrifices for jealousy?Just imagine how the arabs carry suicide, murder, rape and evil things without any fear. We the Africans should stand hand in hand with ICC to fight for justices in Africa. In 500 years ago the disguestng arabs used to convinced the Africans to carry slavery agnist thei own people. This time we better not give them another opportunity to foul us.

    We should blame Idriss for reckless governement, He shouldn’t be concern about the 2011 in Sudan, his omission on his duty of care prove that he is coward in his leadership. I beleive that if western countries have distance themselves from Africa Affairs we will be living jungle live of monkeys Vs Baboons. For sake African must stand up for this continent. Those criminal arabs who fought for Bashir to roam free are planning to destory our African identity. Bashir is nothing like everyone else, so what is really hard about his arrest? you can’t oppose western policy for justices if the agony is not happening in your own country. Ghana has mistaken I urge that president to reverse his words, he probably say so under influence of beer.

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    • 26 July 2010 14:37, by Paul Ongee

      Commentators,

      Do not worry. The vocal critic like Jean Ping and all other Africans leaders who decline to cooperate with ICC are wasting their time. Few months away, all of them will be on board at the end of the day. Hence, watch out closely how things are playing out following the closer of AU summit. AU and its ally AL is no different in terms of conflict resolution. The only difference is AL has some of its members in Africa but AU has non in Middle East.

      Most of these leaders are educated in the West and desperately need western technology and continued support to run their country in one way or another. Their problem is how to Africanize the western system of governance in order to avoid catastrophic wars that keep plaguing the continent for generations to come. However, all of them will certainly be on board with the ICC.

      repondre message

      • 26 July 2010 16:23, by makamthoolditkam

        u fuckin leadres of african,s out south africa,uganda,u re our friends in de south sudan coz we got alot of traing through those two countries and for ur information bro,s close ur eyes u gonna see de light soon,
        to add more freedom is free to have that u need to have alot of problems so am sure that we will make it

        repondre message

  • 26 July 2010 16:51, by Kur

    I do not understand this childish behaviour of African leaders. All the woes the African people face are now blamed on Europeans and Americans, but they do not want to accept the facts that they have failed us. People like Bashir and other dictators are looting and buying fighter jets to kill the very people they claim to protect. What has this to do with Europeans? African masses must rise up to stop those shenanigans who protect criminals from answering to their crimes.

    Kur

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    • 26 July 2010 17:57, by Thomas Athian Lual

      It is ridiculous for the African leaders to think in such a childish way. They do not seems to understand what is going on in Darfur and South Sudan. Bashir should go to the ICC’s COURT if he claim that he is not guilty of the Darfurians. Please, AU I would like you to pay attention to the grieve that our black Africans are facing in Sudan. Bashir should be arrested by any African nation.
      Thomas Athian

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