Home | News    Wednesday 13 April 2011

Darfur’s special prosecutor asks government to accept resignation

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April 12, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese Ministry of Justice issued a statement today revealing that its special prosecutor for Darfur Abdel-Dayem Zumrawi asked the government to accept his resignation.

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Sudan Justice Ministry Undersecretary and special prosecutor for Darfur crimes Abdel-Dayem Zumrawi (Swissinfo)

This followed reports this week by local media that Zumrawi, who is also the Justice Ministry Undersecretary, informed the Sudanese presidency in late March about his intention to step down.

According to the statement his request was made for personal reasons and has yet to be accepted.

Zumrawi was appointed last October as a special prosecutor for Darfur to replace his predecessor Nimr Ibrahim Mohamed who occupied this position since 2003.

But the Justice Ministry stressed in its release that Zumrawi resigned in his capacity as an Undersecretary and not as a special prosecutor.

It stressed that Zumrawi’s team handling the Darfur crimes dossier is still functioning.

Sudan has sought to prove its seriousness in going after perpetrators of war crimes allegedly committed in Sudan’s western region of Darfur by appointing a special prosecutor and establishing special courts.

But no progress has been reported in the work of the special prosecutor since establishing the post.

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) referred the situation in Darfur to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in March 2005 after a U.N. international commission of inquiry concluded that the Sudanese judiciary is unwilling or unable to carry out credible prosecutions in the war ravaged region.

To date, the Hague tribunal charged three individuals from the government side including president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir, South Kordofan governor Ahmed Haroun and militia leader Ali Kushayb.

All three face charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity but Bashir is also wanted for genocide in connection with claims that he orchestrated a campaign to wipe out the African tribes of Fur, Zaghawa and Masaalit in Darfur.

Sudan denies the charges as a western plot aimed at toppling the regime and refused to surrender the suspects.

Last January, the state minister for justice Bol Lul Wang told Reuters that Khartoum has not conducted serious investigations into the alleged war crimes in Darfur. He also claimed that the Sudanese government has no will to go after suspects because of the high-level position they occupy.

"The prosecutor may find some difficulties taking procedures against them [Haroun & Kushayb] because they are being protected by the government," Wang said.

"These people are high figures in the government. The government has no will to pursue or even investigate those people ... It is not serious. Because if it was serious they would not let a man like Haroun hold a ministerial post."

An African Union panel headed by former South African president Thabo Mbeki was tasked with working on ensuring that Sudan establish mechanisms to bring justice to Darfuris particularly through hybrid courts as well as making changes to the penal code.

But Khartoum resisted the idea and Mbeki acknowledged in a report last November that he had little success in pushing Khartoum to implement his justice proposals.

U.N. officials estimate that as many as 300,000 people have died in Darfur since insurgents took up arms in 2003, accusing Khartoum of neglecting the arid region. Khartoum puts the death toll at around 10,000.

(ST)

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  • 13 April 2011 08:30, by Hero

    Thing are getting hot and hotter! No letup from ICC and he finds himself powerless despite their usual rhetoric.Accept his resignation Mr criminal.

    repondre message

  • 13 April 2011 16:10, by Paul Ongee

    Ya President Omer Hassan Al-Bashir,

    Why don’t you remove the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Justice first before appointing him to act as a special prosecutor to investigate your own war crimes in Darfur as you deem it necessary for your own government to do so? This is the logic of the Sudanese Arab President, perhaps of the Middle East. Who adviced you to do that which you believe it makes perfect sense of approaching Darfur case?

    I am sorry Mr. President Al-bashir. The Special Prosecutor Abdel-Dayem Zumrawi has already concluded his investigations that "you’ve committed a war crime in Darfur." Zumrawi is waiting for Luise Moreno-Ocampo to act on it. Period.

    Don’t think that you will not go to The Hague to testify. You have a choice to make Mr. President Omar Hassan Al-Bahir. You either cooperate with ICC or risk getting arrested in a hole like Sadam Hussein or in a house like former President of Ivory Coast. Think about it.

    Paul Ongee
    Khartoum, Sudan

    repondre message

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