Home | News    Tuesday 22 July 2008

Africa urges suspension of ICC indictment process against Sudan’s Bashir

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By Tesfa-alem Tekle

July 21, 2008 (ADDIS ABABA) — The African Union on Monday urged the U.N. Security Council to suspend the probable International Criminal Court’s indictment against Sudanese President Omer Hassan al-Bashir over genocide charges in Darfur.

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Omar al-Bashir (AFP)

The call comes after the African Union Peace and Security Council held an emergency ministerial meeting in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, following accusations by ICC’s Prosecutor filed against al-Bashir on July 14 and appeals from Arab League.

"The African Union requests the U.N. Security Council to postpone the process initiated by the ICC," the AU council said in a statement after the meeting.

It said it had taken into account the need to avoid jeopardizing peace efforts and "the fact that in the current circumstances a prosecution may not be in the interests of victims and justice."

The African Union’s Peace and Security Council also called for the creation of a panel of distinguished Africans to come up with recommendations on how to address issues of accountability and reconciliation raised by the conflict.

Nigerian Foreign Affairs Ojo Maduekwe told reporters that the African Union will file the demand in an effort to allow progress in slow-moving peace talks to end the five-year conflict in Darfur.

"We are asking that the ICC (International Criminal Court) indictment be deferred to give peace a chance," Maduekwe said; adding "Our concern is the timing and how this could impact on the peace process in Sudan."

He further warned that indictment of al-bashir could endanger the whole peace process in the country; "the whole place could turn into one huge graveyard. That could happen" Maduekwe underlined.

The Nigerian top diplomat indicated "We are asking for a delay within the rules of the Rome Statute."

In accordance with the Roma Statue, the UN Security Council can pass a resolution to defer for a period of 12 months any investigation or prosecution by the ICC and the delay may be renewed by the council under the same conditions.

The Sudanese Justice Minister Abdel Basit Sabdarat, who attended the meeting, hailed the African position.

"Sudan does not condone impunity and we would prosecute crimes of all sorts. Sudan is not governed by the law of the jungle, it is a responsible state with an independent judicial system," he told the AU council.

"The Sudan always opted for an African solution under the umbrella of the AU," Sabdarat said, adding the Africa’s biggest nation "cannot be made the Achilles heels of Africa."

The international court’s prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, accuses Bashir of orchestrating genocide that has killed 35,000 people outright, at least another 100,000 through "slow death" and forced 2.5 million from their homes.

Fighting broke out in Darfur in 2003 when ethnic African rebels took up arms against the Arab-dominated central government, accusing it of discrimination. The government is accused of backing Arab militia fighters, called the janjaweed, who responded with a punishing campaign in which entire villages have been wiped out.

The U.N. estimates 300,000 people have died, directly from attacks or indirectly through starvation, and 2.5 million people have fled to refugee camps.

(ST)

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  • 22 July 2008 05:05, by Pothwei Apet Bangoshoth

    Why does the so called African Union request United Nations Security Council to suspend the ICC indictment that was issued against Sudanese president Omar Elbashir,who committed crimes against humanity and genocide in his own nation? If the AU think that Omar’s arrest will jeoperdise the CPA, then it should try to convince Omar El-Bashir to implement the outstaning issues of the the CPA before his arrest take place. Secondly, it should urge him to stop his wild malitias Janjweed of killing innocent Darfurians of western rigion of Sudan. It is absolutlly not logic. African Union needs to settle enternal problems so that we can recognize their power. I urge them to let ICC do its busness.

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  • 22 July 2008 05:26, by sudanson

    You have to understand the difference between SUSPEND, DEFER & CANCEL, they said the UNSC should suspend the charges till further notive so that peace process is re-activated, they did not say it should cancel it, they said it should suspend or delay it till a later time, actually it is within the legal obligation of the UNSC to suspend charges if majority of member states see it as good for peace and stability, this is part of the UN-ICC agreement,it is the same like UNSC refering crimes to ICC for investigations,so it will look good if all the laws are respected instead of only picking the ones that suites individuals interests.I believe the AU wants peace to be given a chance which i think everyone will agree with that unless they have a different agenda in mind which is not in line with peace. we have to look at the advantages and disadvantages of a process and see which one has the highest priority wether it is peace first or justice first, t hen the other should follow the priority in various ways, for example if both sides of a conflict can agree on reconciliation and forgiveness then that is also considered justice because both sides move on and leave the past behind them, like in South Africa case justice was done through reconciliation not through taking people to courts or prisons.

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    • 22 July 2008 07:12, by Pothwei Apet Bangoshoth

      Dear Sudanson,

      I think you are targeting me at this point eventhough, you haven’t written my name in your respond. To let you understand me better, I don’t have word(s) cancel or defer in my comment. So, where did you bring those words from? I addressed AU’s requests to UNSC for Bashir’s charges suspension. reread my comment again. Other think, why do you care about my mistakes. Also, you have to understand that UNSC has no power over ICC Bashir’s indicment. Finally, to be a true son of Sudan, please use your real name. Otherwise, I will consider you as a fake person. I am so sorry to feed you back while you are unknown person. Please do not respond to me because I am not going to waste my time with you again. Just focus on the main topic for discussion. If you keep correcting people, you will not benfit from the forum. Stay cool and thank you

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  • 22 July 2008 08:24, by Deng Akol Agut-tungdoun

    African Union Is a Big Shame To Africans!.

    Look here brothers if there is anyone who can thinks big the way I do. Now that they (AU)have suspended the indictment against Basheir over genocide charges in Darfur, will they (AU) stop the further genocides that Basheir is now preparing for??. It is big no!!, they AU wouldn’t manages that!!!. But again why do the go for this short term peace instead of the long lasting one?.

    Again, these Khartoum deviles are ever checky, they are now preparing for the worse war to come to the whole of Sudan. How?. Since that it is well known that no even a single mad man shall vote for Basheir in the coming election, they are now arranging for a coup to take over the regime to further it ruling!, but this thing call African Union is not seeing it!. Wow!wow! what a fail and corrupt Union!!.

    I argue these world power to look into this situation otherwise they shall rescue nothing from the areas occupied by the non arabs people of African’s origin in Sudan.

    If this Basheir is now continuing with the shipment of weapons of masses destruction, what is the world waiting for in this case?. What is Africa waiting for in particular?.

    Suspension of the indictment mean giving Basheir enough time to kills and humiliats African. Dear Africans, big reasoning is the only way forwards in this case. I wish African all have heart like this of mine!.

    Be bless.

    Deng Akol Agut-tungduon, a man faraway from tribalism.

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  • 22 July 2008 08:29, by deyjien

    Its absurd to hear AU trying to block or suspend charges by ICC against Al-Bashir fearing it will derail ongoing peace process. The problem is, there isnt any peace process that is being DERAILED!!!Why is AU so thick that they cant realise what is happening and just want to stand by their evil colleague. Why does the rest of the world recognize Genocide in DARFUR and Africa itself doesnt? Is it bcoz almost all African leaders are almost the same? At times its true when the rest of the WORLD looks at Africa and project by 2090, none will be alive coz we would have killed ourselves...And leave our beautiful continent to the outsiders...

    ITS NOT TOO LATE TO ACT NOW AND EMBRACE PEACE...

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  • 22 July 2008 10:50, by seja

    The international criminal court must go ahead in there pursue to bring the so called Bashir to book. The Au is just an organisation looking for money not to bring peace to africa as acontinent. they did not see when bashir was using the Antinov to bombad the citizens of south sudan towns he killed 1000s of southerners using the Antinov and these charges His excellency Moreno-Ocampo did not file it could be the worst.therefore,mr. Ocampo use the principles that were laid down by the court not you like in term of Suspension, The Rome Statute provides that the Office of the Prosecutor shall act independently. Consequently, a member of the Office of the Prosecutor must not seek or act on instructions from any external source, such as States, international organizations, NGOs or individuals. These are the only words that Arab League, AU,China and Russia must put in mind.Ocampo is not going to be instructed by any useful nonsense.And the US will not be defeated by any other nation or continents of terror bashir is using the Russian Antinov to kill Southerners and Durfurians, therefore he must face the law accordingly, let him go and prove his being innocently indicted in the court that means let him go and win the case in other words. If the Au could understand if Bashir is not guilt? Why is he fearing to go and face the law every nation have seen that Omar is killing every day and night and is cough, Why is the AU supporting criminal, that means that Au is also a criminal.

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  • 22 July 2008 13:37, by Daniel Kalaka

    Let the toothless dogs back up for their stormach instead of blocking peace entirely country, the African Union have no capacity to build relavent protection against their own people as african. And now trying to make intervation without proper justifying of their own mind after ICC indictment against head of state Al Bashir .

    To continue with since deployment of AU troops to Dafur what was the role they play inorder to protect civian their and how many live has been lost there and they kept quite every body think only of filling his own need in the expeness of innocent live been lost.Please don’t disurt the peace of country remove your statement to block ICC decision and anything can stop them to carry their job for welfare live in sudan, go ahead Mr Ocampo bravo!

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    • 22 July 2008 16:34, by Reuben Ngooth

      What do AU have to call for the suspension of the issuance of arrest warrant for the sudan war criminal? let them(AU) die from their inferior complex.AU send the force that is being worked on,on daily basis by sudan army through ambush in darfur and they don’t want to know.AU is just like a defeated lady at the scene but it don’t even realise,shame on AU.It don’t even benefit from Omar whom it had thrown it’s full support behind blindly,why don’t AU leave the support to arab league countries who are gaining from omar? AU is even suppose to tell arab league not to involved in African affairs.AU is not even recognised by omar and that was why he first run to arab league for help.i use to think that AU can protect her citizens but this had now uncovered the secret or the weakness of the union.AU wanted sudanese to be refugees in their countries to create jobs for their citizens,to hell with AU.i was a refugee in one of AU countries and i will rather die fighting arabs in sudan than to go for refuge again.

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      • 22 July 2008 20:01, by Doang Puk

        I think the AU wants Darfurians to live in such A harsh, horrific situation. ICC has a right to sue the president of Sudan because he acts against human beings. Fortunately, I do not think that the ICC will accept the African Union.

        Doang Puk

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        • 23 July 2008 12:28, by Kipngetich Too

          There is no need of Africa union to involve them self and when people are deing they do not maind about it.So let them not suspend the demand of ICC

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