Home | News    Wednesday 23 July 2008

Arab League says Sudan agrees to investigate Darfur war crimes


July 23, 2008 (WASHINGTON) — An Arab League official today revealed the plan carried by its Secretary General Amr Moussa to Sudan president Omar Hassan Al-Bashir to deal over the row with the International Criminal Court (ICC).

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Arab League General Secretary Amr Mussa talks to media after his meeting with Sudanese president Omar al-Beshir in the capital Khartoum on July 20, 2008 (AFP)

The ICC’s prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo asked pre-trial judges lon Monday 14 July to issue arrest warrants for Sudanese president Omar Hassan Al-Bashir.

Ocampo filed 10 charges: three counts of genocide, five of crimes against humanity and two of murder. Judges are expected to take months to study the evidence before deciding whether to order Al-Bashir’s arrest.

“Sudan will be continuing its consideration of the violations of human rights and the crimes committed in Darfur” Hesham Youssef, chief of staff for Moussa told Reuters today.

“Those who are accused would stand to be tried within this judiciary system. The individuals that will be facing trial would depend on the investigations that are conducted by the government” he added.

The Arab League official also said that the proceedings can be monitored by the United Nations, Arab League and African Union.

The ICC prosecutor in his semi-annual reports to the UN Security Council (UNSC) took note of special courts set up by Sudan to prosecute Darfur war crimes suspects but said that they are not looking into the same crimes.

Under the ICC statue the court will not look into a case if the state is already looking into it. However the suspects investigated must be the same ones named by the courts and tried for the same crimes.

The judges of the ICC issued their first arrest warrants for suspects accused of war crimes in Sudan’s Darfur region last year.

The warrants were issued for Ahmed Haroun, state minister for humanitarian affairs, and militia commander Ali Mohamed Ali Abdel-Rahman, also know as Ali Kushayb.

Sudan must prosecute Haroun and Kushayb for the same accusations brought against them by the ICC in order for the latter to lose jurisdiction over their cases.

A major problem posed by national proceedings in Sudan is that the penal code does not include punishment for genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes. Moreover Sudanese military officials enjoy immunity from prosecution for acts committed during their course of duty.

The Arab League official appeared optimistic that the proposed plan would resolve the standoff between Khartoum and the ICC.

“In light of all these steps, it is expected that we would be going to the Security Council to ask the Security Council to defer the process initiated by the ICC” Youssef said.

Article 16 of the ICC Statue states that “no investigation or prosecution may be commenced or proceeded with under this Statute for a period of 12 months after the Security Council, in a resolution adopted under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, has requested the Court to that effect; that request may be renewed by the Council under the same conditions”.

The African Union (AU) yesterday asked the UNSC to invoke article 16 of Rome Statue and suspend any indictment of Sudan’s head of state.

But the request got cool reception from some members of the UNSC.

The French Ambassador to the UN Jean-Maurice Ripert said that the UNSC “should not interfere with the due process of law in terms of letting the ICC do its work”.

“We remind the authorities in Khartoum that they have some obligations and commitments vis-à-vis the UNSC which repeatedly asked for their cooperation with the ICC and it is not too late for them to cooperate” he added.

Asked to comment on the African and Arab bloc at the UN requests to suspend indictment, the French diplomat said he respects AU decision but scathingly dismissed any imminent decision on the matter.

“They can do whatever they wish. It is a free country. As soon as they find a country to do it we will look into it” Ripert said.

The US envoy at the UN Zalmay Khalilzad said that he does not expect UNSC action on suspension “in the foreseeable future” and added that “there should be no impunity”.

Another US official echoed Khalilzad’s remarks.

“We strongly support holding accountable those who are responsible for genocide in Darfur," Richard Grenell, spokesman for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, told The Associated Press on Monday.

It is widely expected that China and Russia would back such a step but neither have tabled a formal resolution.

But Russia’s U.N. ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters on Monday that his country would not initiate such a resolution saying other countries are better suited to push it.

He also declined to explicitly voice support for such a resolution but said that it is “worth considering”.

Russia has voted in favor of resolution 1593 in March 2005 referring Darfur situation to the ICC.

Sudan has not ratified the Rome Statue, but the UN Security Council triggered the provisions under the Statue that enables it to refer situations in non-State parties to the world court if it deems that it is a threat to international peace and security.


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  • 23 July 2008 06:42, by William Dimo Deng - Melbourne - Australia


    Arab League, AU, failed according to the UNSC spokeman, that UNSC is not resposible for ICC decision and it is independent from UNSC, and they will not accept any dely agains someone who cmmitted crime agains humanity, and the opinion of UNSC is clear.

    Omar Al-Bashir will be arrested, and charged and jailed.

    I,am asking any one belived in justice, please Don’t warry about ICC,They will arrest the fox and killer genocide, and his alliance Arab League and AU, they will not be able to face ICC.

    Our enemy the heades and devil and axis of evils, failed, and will be failed forever.

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    • 26 July 2008 14:36, by mack waweru

      Where was the Arab League when the war broke out in Darfur in 2003? The League’s stand with Bashir this time really shows that Arabs are behind what is happening in the whole Sudan. They have plans to decimate all indigenous Sudanese and takeover their land and this became clear after the signing of CPA.5,000 Palestinians, 7,000 000 Egyptians and more thousands of Arab from Niger have been granted Sudanese citizenship, ready to be settled in Abyei, Karsana, Higlig,Kor Nehiaz and would annexed territories in Darfur. Millions of black Sudanese have been killed by the northern Arab Sudanese since 1983 till now in Darfur and Arab League never intervened, but when the perpetrator of these crimes had been accused, they became active and deeply involved to defend him. Arab League even doesn’t acknowledge that there is human tragedy in Darfur, leave alone the South during her 22 yrs of bloodbath, but simply accuses the West of trying to dismember Sudan. For the last two years demonstrations were staged in Europe and America regarding human suffering in Darfur, but non happened in Arab and Islamic countries like Iran, Pakistan,Indonisia and Malayasia. This Arab silence demonstrated to us that they have a hand in what is happening in our country.
      It’s worrying when 22 Arab countries represented by the Arab League stand in Solidarity and support Butcher Bashir and not with the victims. I think if all Sudanese were indicted by Ocampo, they could have right to oppose him, but supporting a crimminal and his generals, lacks human moral on the Arab part.
      Arabs’ relations with black Sudanese in the future and now is severely damaged and they will be sorry forever. God will never abandons us because he created black Sudanese and they will be there forever, but our enemies will wither away like blowing wind.
      Darfur and its people will be victorious over the plans of the Arab League and Arab northern Sudanese.

      Mack Waweru

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  • 23 July 2008 07:05, by Duop Chak

    The Arab League’s plan is nothing but delaying tactic.

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    • 23 July 2008 13:31, by Augustino Wol

      Arab league is just slowing down the hot fire against Beshir but any way it is not putting out the burning points of Genocide and war crimes which are pin-pointed in the ICC book and News books.

      I am urging the ICC and UNSC to do what they can to save the lives of innocent population of Darfur,you can see now,the same atrocities are still being carried out by this same regime of NIF/NCP of Omar recently in Jebel Moon.
      I am strongly opposed to the Idea of Arab league and AU,please ICC hurry up.


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    • 26 July 2008 14:44, by mack waweru

      This is nonsense! How can a crimminal investigate himself? Which judge in Sudan can investigate crimminal NCP jehadists in Sudan? From Butcher Bashir to the bottom of shoeshine boys of Khartoum are all members of Jehadists NCP, controlled by inner circle of Muslims Brotherhood in Sudan.
      Arab League must back away from these people, otherwise it will find itself in one camp with Al Qaeda and Muslims Brotherhood outlawed in Arab countries.

      Mack Waweru

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  • 23 July 2008 10:36, by gatluak Reat Nhial

    that is unjustified statement when did the war begins in Darfur? and where were you? may the God encourages the Arab Leagues to decieved Sudan President by if refused completely to sort out this big issue of court case of ICC. so Saddum hussen history could be much better than of Beshire in Northern Sudan, minus other part of sudan.the crimes against humanity are accurate, pushing human being out of airplans plus constant mudering are already exposed to world.world know very well that Beshire is preparing himself by buying good weopons like the recent MIG 29 which he bought from Russia and others but, prepare very well to fight with America is not easy.we know the colloboration b/n Russia and Northern Sudan that it is Tacticfull deal. b/se what makes all bussiness aircrafts to crashes in Southern Sudan is the long hand from Russia why not in other part of Sudan only South?. so be sure of the world that we are seeing your styles toward creation of genocides in undetected manner.

    View online : Arab league says Sudan aggre to investigate Darfur crimes

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  • 23 July 2008 12:19, by John Mou

    Stop hypocrisy please Arab League

    How can it be true that the courts set up by Al-Bashir will try the criminals?

    Will these courts try Al-Bashir also since he is the most wanted by the ICC in Hague?

    Do you think that the world including us the marginalized people believe in your evil tactics?

    Amru Musa, please stop hypocrisy and let those accused of war crimes in Darfur including Al-Bashir go to Hague and defend themselves there.

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  • 26 July 2008 15:56, by Maduk Lual

    Please please!! what is so called Arab league your stupid and fucken leader will face the ICC like his uncle Sadam.
    by Mr. Maduk Lual a southern Sudanese living in Uganda.

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