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UK Parliament debates Bashir’s ICC arrest warrant

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May 31, 2012 (JUBA) - Lawmakers in the British Parliament last week questioned their government’s commitment in securing the arrest of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and others indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide.

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Sudanese president, Omar al-Bashir (Getty)

The debate, according to the UK Parliament website, was started by Lord David Alton of Liverpool, who further queried the fate of Joseph Kony, the leader of the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), also on the ICC’s most wanted list.

Baroness Caroline Cox, another lawmaker drew attention to reports that al-Bashir deposed the democratically-elected governor of South Kordofan state in Sudan and replaced him with Ahmed Haroun.

“Ahmad Harun, who is also indicted by the ICC and has since been carrying out systematic slaughter and aerial bombardment of his people, leading to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people,” Cox told the House of Lords.

In response, the UK minister of state, foreign and commonwealth office informed the House of Lords that the ICC relies entirely on state co-operation to ensure enforcement of its arrest warrants. Lord Howell of Guildford said the British government, together with its European Union partners, frequently raises the importance of states fulfilling their international obligations and taking the necessary steps to bring to justice individuals indicted by the court.

The ICC’s new chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda from Gambia, this month dismissed claims that the institution is pro-Western and anti-African; the majority of the entrants on their most-wanted list being Africans. She said her “focus is on Joseph Kony, on Bosco Ntaganda, on Ahmad Harun, on Omar al-Bashir."

“Those currently fugitive from ICC warrants should be reminded that they, like Radovan Karadzic and General Mladic, cannot evade the international justice system indefinitely,” the UK minister told lawmakers.

The Hague-based court in March 2009 found the Sudanese leader guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in Sudan’s western region of Darfur. The conflict, which started in 2003, according to the United Nations, has killed nearly 300,000 people and displaced thousands.

The ICC’s then chief prosecutor, Luis Ocampo, came under pressure for the decision to put out a warrant for an sitting head of state. Bashir reacted by evicting various non-governmental organisations from Darfur.

Haroun is wanted for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Darfur. He defeated Abdelaziz al-Hilu to become governor of South Kordofan in an election described by many as rigged in 2011. There is currently a bloody conflict in the state which borders South Sudan, which is causing the displacement of thousands.

Regarding the conflict in Darfur and South Kordofan, Lord Alton wondered how much resources the UK government was committing to facilitate the ICC’s work in apprehending indicted war criminals.

“What resources are we committing to the work of the ICC? When a head of state is indicted by it, how is that reflected in the conduct of our economic and diplomatic policies?” he asked.

However, the minster for the state, foreign and commonwealth office said the British government was closely following events at the ICC, despite the long years it has taken to arrest wanted fugitives. He cites Uganda as one of the countries fulfilling its obligation as a signatory to the ICC, having recently captured Caesar Acellam, a top LRA commander.

Some lawmakers also wondered why Britain was reluctant to intervene in the South Kordofan crisis, where thousands have been displaced by air bombardments carried out by the Sudanese government. Another
legislator said the suffering in South Kordofan was “worse” than the that which occurred in Libya.

But Lord Howell of Guildford reiterated his government’s commitment to resolving Sudan’s conflict, saying a lot was being done in collaboration with international agencies to bring some hope to this very “unpleasant and ugly situation”.

Rob Williams, chief executive of War Child UK, responded to Alton’s comments by describing the ICC as "distinct disappointment."

(ST)

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  • 1 June 2012 05:00, by never

    west is very slow to put Bashir behind bar. uk should have put an end already to the war between north and south in sudan.

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    • 1 June 2012 05:08, by zulu

      I applaud this British move to expedite the arrest and extradition of Omer el Beshit to the Hague. the moral obligation, though entirely rests on each state, should be taken as a normative obligation for most importantly, african states that do not have the ampathy of thier african society suffering in sudan.

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      • 1 June 2012 12:16, by SEE ME

        zulu

        We can all agree that the ICC has been less than unbiased when it comes to who should or shouldn’t be prosecuted. Since its inception, only five situations have been dealt with and all of them African. Another weakness of the ICC and similar bodies is that its jurisdiction only goes as far as countries that are signatories to it, beyond that it is powerless.

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      • 1 June 2012 18:00, by Johndumo14

        South sudan is not milking his cows while sudan is milking another s.sudan`s cow. The oil in bentiu ,is the same oil under ground apper in Panthou (Hegelig),NOW KHARTOUM IS BUSSY TAKING THE OIL IN hEGELIG,THE TIME SPLA want to pump the oil,there will be no oil!! This is the same style when Sadam Hussen of Iraq was bussy in the war with Iran ,kuwait was bussy pumping the Iraq oil under ground.

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        • 1 June 2012 21:10, by SEE ME

          Johndumo14

          Iam ready to help Sudan to get most of the oil in blocks 3 &7 using the US drilling technology. Bear in mind that some small areas of these blocks are in SUDAN.

          Yes kuwait did steal REMAYLA crude oil with the help of US technology

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    • 1 June 2012 05:49, by Ayom Dor

      We can’t wait to see Al Bashir showing his miserable face in the hague. On that day, there will be the greatest celebration in history of Sudan, to confirm to the world that their justice is achieved in the country!!

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      • 1 June 2012 12:18, by SEE ME

        It is interesting to note that only two of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) have ratified the Rome Statute, namely France and Britain.

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    • 1 June 2012 07:00, by South South

      They will get him one day. Bashir can run but he can not hide forever.

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      • 1 June 2012 12:21, by SEE ME

        With all of its (ICC) weaknesses and apparent biases not withstanding, should we as Africans and the AU allow our leaders to run amok on this basis alone? Wouldn’t the correct course of action be to enforce the ICC’s warrants while at the same time putting pressure to bear on the ICC to do some introspection and reevaluate itself in order to retain the little credibility it still has?

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    • 1 June 2012 08:27, by okucu pa lotinokwan

      The govt of British is doingg very little in solving Sudan& South Sudan issue,if they acn bringg a Parement peace between Sudan and South Sudan outmatically there will be peace in South Khordofan as well in Blue Nile State
      The British law makers should support quick a rest of Omer Al Bashir to ICC.

      OKUCU PA LOTINOKWAN

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    • 1 June 2012 08:47, by SEE ME

      International Criminal Court (ICC)
      International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
      International Code Council (ICC)

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      • 1 June 2012 08:49, by SEE ME

        When was the ICC established?-

        The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court is the treaty that established the ICC on June 17, 1998, and the court entered into force on June 1, 2002

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        • 1 June 2012 08:51, by SEE ME

          Why has the ICC focused on Africa?

          Some speculate the reasons behind this are due to Africa’s general weakness of national legal systems, which have led many African countries to refer crimes to the ICC. Many see this as Africa showing its commitment towards the international justice system.

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          • 1 June 2012 08:53, by SEE ME

            How has the ICC been perceived in Africa?

            The fact that the only cases seen in the ICC have been those with crimes taking place in Africa has provoked some to say the ICC is neocolonialist or racist.

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            • 1 June 2012 08:55, by SEE ME

              How has the ICC been perceived in Africa?

              Many people see the ICC as pursuing its own kind of justice that primarily targets African countries, while others view the ICC’s heavy involvement in Africa as an aid to some African countries whose national governments are seen as too weak to effectively prosecute war criminals.

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              • 1 June 2012 08:56, by SEE ME

                What criticisms are directed at the ICC?

                There have been many criticisms of the ICC, but the main three are its tendency to exacerbate current conflicts, its supposed unfair treatment of those on defence, and its history of being unclear about the reasons for which it chooses its cases.

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              • 1 June 2012 09:02, by SEE ME

                How has the ICC been perceived in Africa?

                LRA’s Joseph Kony, currently on trial for war crimes, stated he would agree to a peace deal if the ICC agrees to drop indictments against him and other LRA leaders.

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                • 1 June 2012 09:18, by SEE ME

                  How has the ICC been perceived in Africa?

                  The ICC’s refusal to do so has caused the violence to continue in Uganda. In terms of unfair treatment of the defence, current complaints from Lubanga’s defence team include smaller budgets than the Prosecutor, slow arrival of evidence and witness statements, and that documents have often times been impossible to read due to heavy redacting the ICC.

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                  • 1 June 2012 09:22, by SEE ME

                    The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN). It was established in June 1945 by the Charter of the United Nations and began work in April 1946.

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                    • 1 June 2012 09:24, by SEE ME

                      ICJ
                      The Court’s role is to settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted to it by States and to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by authorized United Nations organs and specialized agencies.

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            • 1 June 2012 09:10, by Monydit K

              Yeah criminal must be respect and send to jail without compromise.

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  • 1 June 2012 06:17, by Akol Liai Mager

    Debate? This is about lives lost and still being lost on the daily basis in Darfur, Nuba Mts and S.Blue Nile. The ICC has already collected enough evidences including the ones provided by Al-Bashir himself and Haroun that they have killed 10,000 innocent civilians. Why debate? just arrest him, or support RSF to arrest and hand him over to ICC.

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    • 1 June 2012 12:29, by SEE ME

      “To hell with international law! You’ve got a choice to make. You’re either for us or against us, and I only hope for your sake you make the right choice.”

      Republican Senator Alfonse D’Amato
      (New York)

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  • 1 June 2012 06:24, by Akol Liai Mager

    There is already a racing competition on who will arrest Al-Bashir and his team first to claim the credit of acting humanely. Those on the race include NIF folks who want to clear their name off the list of wrong doings. So, the abled powers should arrest Bashir now to deny NIF’ credit seekers of claiming a credit and innocent verdict to themselves.

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    • 1 June 2012 09:34, by SEE ME

      The ICC court doesn’t have jurisdiction in the Middle East, since the countries there have not ratified its protocol. Neither has the United States. Most of the court’s 105 members are in Europe, South America — and Africa

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  • 1 June 2012 06:27, by Madina Tonj

    Did the UK Parliament understand what is need to be done in the world.?
    We Southern Sudanese and the rest of the world have been shocking to hear statement from some of European members who were taking side to defending Khartoum regime. I don’t want to talk about AU being fully bribes to deny people who are dying in Darfur regions, Nuba region, South Blue Nile and new born nation faces bombardment

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    • 1 June 2012 09:39, by SEE ME

      Madina Tonj

      Tell your masters of UK (GB) who killed my grand fathers with SULTAN ALI DINAR to be send first to the ICJ and ICC.

      UK must set the example to the 3rd world.

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      • 1 June 2012 10:21, by Majongdit

        SEE ME,
        Because the British killed your grand father Ali Dinar so justice can simply be denied for millions of Darfurians and people of B Nile, N Mtns, Beja etc? No! Our grand fathers Kon Anok, King Budwe, Ali Abdhalatif were also killed by the British. Beshir is Beshir n his crimes are his crimes.

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        • 1 June 2012 11:24, by SEE ME

          Majongdit

          UK is civilized nation and permanent of UNSC.

          So UK must set an example for us the 3rd. world countries.

          Training takes 3 main steps:
          1. Trainer (UK) TELLS and DO
          2. Trainer TELLS and Trainee(AFRICA) DO
          3. Trainee(SUDAN) TELLS and DO

          I want UK to let us attend the courts for those who killed my grand fathers and SULTAN ALI DINAR in DARFUR

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  • 1 June 2012 07:19, by Northern Sudanese

    Bashir will never go to the Hague. why bashir and not US and Israeli leaders?

    Palestine
    Vietnam
    Japan
    Iraq
    Afghanistan

    ect..........

    Bashir will not go to the hague, i know its a dream for you southerners but he will never go :D .......... forget about the Hague XD

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    • 1 June 2012 07:43, by Akol Liai Mager

      Did I understood you correctly that Al-Bashir and his genocidal team have killed and still killing African Sudanese in revenge to what the Americans and Israelis are doing? By the way, someone like myself who read Arabic Newspapers daily is quiete aware that Al-Bashir and his team are heading to Hague and very soon as it could be before this August. The current war within NIF itself is a short-cut

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    • 1 June 2012 08:01, by john k

      So, you think your president will get away with those appalling crimes he had committed in Daffur region and many other parts of Sudan? you must be joking, if you don’t see anything wrong with your president’s behavour, one day you will see him before ICC, with other of his ministers will follow him to answer the charges. he is a big lier, troublsome, murderer.

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    • 1 June 2012 08:03, by Lango2010

      Fatou Bensouda Chief Persecutor said that “focus is on Joseph Kony, on Bosco Ntaganda, on Ahmad Harun, on Omar al-Bashir."
      I think this move will bring Sudanese ever lasting peace.
      mean while let the ignorant still dream of "why not Israel, US etc"
      unless you create your own ICC to Bring Israel and US to Book, your dream will be like making a man to passing in the eye of a needle
      Idiot coward haa

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      • 1 June 2012 12:30, by SEE ME

        “To hell with international law! You’ve got a choice to make. You’re either for us or against us, and I only hope for your sake you make the right choice.”

        Republican Senator Alfonse D’Amato
        (New York)

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    • 1 June 2012 08:05, by zulu

      Beshit can bully other African States and may go to those weak states like Chad, Mali or Malawi. He now cannot set foot to South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Ruwanda. He is definitely afraid of Kiir who will arrest him for war crimes he committed on South Sudanese soil.

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      • 1 June 2012 09:32, by SEE ME

        Zenawi said it louder to IC to stop double standards when the issue is about black Africans.

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    • 1 June 2012 08:56, by Jeti

      Bashir or son of bitch, a childless leader of Sudan will not go to the Hague.
      We want the UK to stop debating on Sudanese issues so much. We want them to repeat what they did to innocent man of Libya, Gaddafi, by sending their NATO forces to Sudan and slaughter these criminals: Bashir, Harun, Nafie, Taha, etc.
      Action, action, please!

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      • 1 June 2012 09:28, by SEE ME

        Zenawi: Well clearly there is injustice in Darfur and the AU recognizes that. But there are different methods of addressing injustice. There is the type that we saw in South Africa and everybody aggress that the apartheid system in South Africa committed crimes against humanity.

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        • 1 June 2012 09:30, by SEE ME

          Zenawi: Nobody I know of had opposed the African method of restorative justice and I do not see any reason why similar approach cannot be followed in Darfur. The thing is the crisis in Darfur is primarily a political crisis it is not a humanitarian crisis.

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      • 1 June 2012 16:44, by SEE ME

        Jeti

        YOU SAID:

        "Rest in peace, H.E Khalil Ibrahim,

        You’ll live forever in the hearts of the die-hard Darfurians who are still following your foot steps."

        Pls don’t use OBSCENE language if you do respect "Khalil Ibrahim"

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    • 1 June 2012 09:23, by Wek Kawaja

      Northern sudanese or whatever u call urself ur such a dickhead and ur not even ashame of urself to say that Al Bashit will never go 2 Hague juz wait and see his ass being dragged 2 Hague soon.

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    • 1 June 2012 10:38, by Majongdit

      Northern Sudanese,
      I am sorry to you but there’s nothing you can do about it: Beshir is an indicted man he will definitely one day stand in the Hague. So don’t worry boy, he will not get hanged. He will serve a life sentence in cold jail in Europe. Khartoum is hot so that is nice, isn’t it?

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    • 1 June 2012 22:28, by Northern Sudanese

      Bashir is my president, not yours.........we, as sudanese know what our president does and doesn’t........no1 could send bashir to the hague except the people of sudan......

      and yes, as long as bush and blair and israeli mp enjoy their villas, you could forget about the dream of seeing bashir in court XD

      ever heard of the song : ’’just a dream’’ XD

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    • 2 June 2012 06:15, by Observer

      Northern Sudanese,
      There are 2 reasons. One, the ICC is not retrospective - that is any alledged crime prior to 2002 cannot be tried.
      Secondly a country can be exempt from ICC prosecution if it has courts set up in its country to try crimes that the ICC would normally try - e.g. genocide, war crimes etc.
      The war criminal Bush was clever enough to do this before he invaded Iraq

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  • 1 June 2012 09:48, by Mapuor

    International justice is a must for the world peace.This quote is enough to make all confident that justice will prevail.’Those currently fugitive from ICC warrants should be reminded that they, like Radovan Karadzic and General Mladic, cannot evade the international justice system indefinitely,” the UK minister told lawmakers’.

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    • 1 June 2012 12:32, by SEE ME

      “To hell with international law! You’ve got a choice to make. You’re either for us or against us, and I only hope for your sake you make the right choice.”

      Republican Senator Alfonse D’Amato
      (New York)

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  • 1 June 2012 14:28, by SEE ME

    Colonialism originated in the late Eighteenth Century as the preferred system for the exploitation of lesser developed regions. By 1914, European nations dominated almost 85 percent of the world in some form of colony, protectorate, or dominion.

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    • 1 June 2012 14:30, by SEE ME

      As colonialism developed it became an established governing process by which governments, especially economically developed ones in Europe, systematically controlled and exploited lesser-developed areas.

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      • 1 June 2012 14:31, by SEE ME

        Edward Said defined imperialism in Culture and Imperialism as "the practice, the theory, and the attitudes of a dominating metropolitan center ruling a distant territory; “colonialism[]” . . . is the implanting of settlements on distant territory."

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  • 2 June 2012 05:42, by Dinka-Defender-General

    Dear readers, El Bashir has only less than one year left for his freedom. You can quote me on this. Bashir will face consequences with his criminal leaders very soon. I can’t wait to see how they will respond.

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