Home | News    Thursday 19 May 2011

Chad says it will not execute ICC warrant against Libya’s Gaddafi


May 18, 2011 (WASHINGTON) – The Chadian government on Wednesday made it clear that it will not cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) in arresting three Libyan officials named by the tribunal’s chief prosecutor as suspects in the violent crackdown against protestors that took place last February.

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FILE - Chad’s President Deby and Libya’s leader Muammar Gaddafi leave a family photo during an EU-Africa summit in Tripoli (Reuters)

On Monday, the ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo announced from the Hague that he has presented a case to the judges against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam and spy chief Abdullah al-Sanoosi on two counts of murder and persecution.

The Pre-Trial Chamber I will now have to decide whether there is sufficient evidence that call for issuing arrest warrants against the three men. The process could take anywhere from few weeks to several months.

Omer Yahya, the press adviser for Chadian president Idriss Deby, told the London-based Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper that his country is committed to the African Union (AU) decision instructing members not to cooperate with the ICC in arresting Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir who is also wanted by the court.

The Chadian official suggested that the decision applies to all suspects wanted by the court that are still at large.

"It is true that we ratified the Rome Statute which established the International Criminal Court but we also endorsed the decision of the African Union adopted on July 2009 in Sirte, Libya refusing to cooperate with the ICC," Yahya said.

"We are an independent country and stand by the decision of the African Union and if there is a new resolution [mandating] cooperation with the ICC we will be a part of it but so far the African Union has not declared that it supports the decision of the Hague" he added.

Gaddafi has forced the AU in the 2009 Sirte summit to grant Bashir immunity across the continent even in countries that are signatories to the Rome Statute. At the time it was South Africa, Botswana and Chad who opposed the decision and vowed to execute the warrant should the Sudanese leader set foot on their territory.

But following a thaw in Chad-Sudan relations, Deby has welcomed Bashir for a regional summit in Ndjamena and refused to arrest him contrary to his earlier position. Kenya and Djibouti are the other two ICC members that have allowed Bashir to visit without apprehending him.

In late February, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) unanimously referred the situation in Libya to the ICC as it did with Darfur six years ago. Nigeria, Gabon and South Africa were the African members of the council when the decision was passed.

At the time the Libyan UN delegation, which has denounced Gaddafi, sent a letter to the UNSC president asking for an ICC referral which allows the court to investigate even if the country has not ratified the Rome Statute.

The AU has adopted no formal position with regards to the ICC referral in the Libya case. The pan-African body has been hostile to the Hague tribunal and accused it of targeting its leaders while turning a blind eye to atrocities elsewhere.

Yahya further said that Chad will not recognize the National Transitional Council (NTC) which is engaged in a military campaign to unseat Gaddafi. It was formed on an ad-hoc basis in the wake of the unrest across the country and contains senior figures who defected from Gaddafi. So far it has managed to control most of the territory in Eastern Libya.

"We do not stand with the Libyan rebels as they have no real authority in their country. They do not control the situation so far......our position is clear on the issue of the National Transitional Council in Libya .. we do not support the rebels and what is happening in Libya is an internal issue that has nothing to do with us," he added.

He said that Chad hopes for the situation in Libya to calm down and become stable.

The remarks by the Chadian official will likely deepen the NTC’s existing suspicions towards Libya’s Southern neighbor particularly given the strong ties between Gaddafi and Deby in the past.

The NTC accused Gaddafi of bringing in African mercenaries from several countries including Chad and Zimbabwe to help Libyan troops trying to put down the uprising.

However, Chad vehemently denied the charges and even accused rebels of executing its nationals for suspecting that they are mercenaries.

The ICC prosecutor said that he will investigate allegations made about possible war crimes during the conflict in Libya including attacks against sub-Saharan Africans wrongly perceived to be mercenaries.


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  • 19 May 2011 14:04, by Mr. godfather master of reality

    SHUT UR FUCKING MOUTH U PIECE OF SHIT YOU bloody Dictator, useless african Dictators

    repondre message

  • 20 May 2011 13:32, by Paul Ongee

    I personally don’t believe the statement issued by Omer Yahya, press advisor for the Chadian President Idriss Deby that his country is an independent entity and will not cooperate with the ICC on arresting Gaddafi without consent of African Union (A.U). When did Africa become democratic and set a term limit for governance? Most African leaders whether good or bad, security and political stability is guaranteed or not, decide to stay in power until the very western democratic society that supported and elevated him to lead a country intervene to force him out for the sake of democratic principles that we often read from the books of political science but refuse to apply it practically.

    Some African intellectuals and political analysts often write that Africa’s mind set has been under western observation for nearly two centuries but what about us? What self-study did we do to believe and be confident that we can live, govern ourselves democratically, organize, trade, partner and achieve something with little economic support from the west? Africans need effective education to analyze issues rationally not just college degrees obtained to do specific jobs but not to force oneself into political leadership position without leadership quality.

    Africa or AU has abundant natural resources but unable to tap them for its own economic survival. When will Africa learn from the western or Eastern world to stand on its foot economically, technologically, politically, democratically, socially and culturally? I don’t think it could happen during my lifetime or my children’s or grand children’s. ICC is an important tool to check and balance how political power (or military power during war time) in the third world can be used morally to enhance democratic governance and transfer of power which is believed to be better than coupe d’état or military rule.

    I don’t want to write much about the statement of Omer Yahya against ICC because Africa is not yet independent economically, politically, democratically, socially and culturally like the western world or performing close at the level of South East Asian (SEA) countries. Nelson Mandela ruled the rain-bow nation, South Africa, for only four years but offered to stay in prison for 27 years during Apartheid. I believe Mandela’s decision not to run for another term was because of the cultivated reasoning of political stability and understanding of democracy within his own party (ANC) and the involvement of white South Africans who supported Mandela’s struggle against Apartheid was significant. Capacity building was not and will not be an issue. The question is If Muammar Gaddafi, Omer Al-Bashir, Robert Mugabe and the likes were to be in Mandela’s shoe, for how long would they hang on power? Do we need westerners or white people to live with us and support us to be politically and democratically stable or what? If not let’s forge a real partnership to trade and be progressive since every country has his own interest.

    However, it will take another two or more centuries to build capacity similar or close to the western countries so that we can also give them aid and export democratic principles not one-sided. If one does not believe the preceding sentence, then forget what Omer Yahya and the likes are saying about reluctance to cooperate with ICC. Let ICC do its job. Africa or AU must pull up its socks to continue asking for economic and democratic assistance from international community, World Bank and IMF to build the bases of political and economic development.

    Paul Ongee
    Khartoum Watch

    repondre message

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