Home | News    Monday 13 April 2009

Sudan says unable to go after Darfur war crime suspects


April 12, 2009 (KHARTOUM) – Judicial prosecutions in the Western region of Darfur against war crimes suspects will not be possible under current circumstances, the Sudanese justice minister said today.

“Yes definitely there are war crimes in Darfur and when conflict erupts it has its consequences….no one can deny it. Whoever commits the crime and is unidentified should be investigated” Abdel-Basit Sabdarat told the Kuwait based Al-Rayaam newspaper in an interview.

“If you are able to know the person who committed the crime and able to pursue him, collect evidence that incriminate him but if you are unable to arrest [suspect] then you have undermined justice” Sabdarat said.

“However if these stipulations are impossible to attain and you cannot go after the people who commit the crimes, you do so whenever circumstances become favorable and then the state can pursue those people” he added.

In 2004 the UN Security Council (UNSC) formed a commission of inquiry headed by former President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) Italian Antonio Cassese to look into Darfur abuses.

The commission concluded that Khartoum and government-sponsored Arab militias known as the Janjaweed engaged in “widespread and systematic” abuse that may constitute crimes against humanity.

They further said that Sudanese judiciary is “is unable or unwilling” to prosecute those crimes and thus recommended referring the situation to the International Criminal Court (ICC). Sudan dismissed the commission’s evaluation of its judicial system, saying that several individuals have been prosecuted and sentenced in connection with Darfur crimes.

The UNSC issued resolution 1593 under chapter VII in March 2005 referring the situation in Darfur to the ICC. The Hague-based court has issued arrest warrants against Sudan’s State Minister for Humanitarian Affairs Ahmed Haroun, militia leader Ali Kushayb and recently president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir.

In the wake of the case initiated against Bashir, Sabdarat named Nimr Ibrahim Mohamed as a special prosecutor to look into alleged Darfur war crimes committed since 2003 but so far little information has emerged on its findings.

African and Arab countries have urged the UNSC to give Sudan a chance to conduct its own trials of Darfur war crime suspects.

The special prosecutor said he reviewing a case against Kushayb and only last March he hinted that he may question Haroun over charges contained against him by the ICC.

Nimr’s announcement drew a sharp rebuke from Haroun who accused him along with Sabdarat of taking positions “inconsistent with the state position refusing to deal with the ICC”.

But the Sudanese justice minister said today that there are no charges against Haroun and added that Kushayb is currently being detained and investigated by a national commission of inquiry.

Sudanese officials have provided conflicting information on the case against Kushayb. The militia leader has reportedly being acquitted by Sudanese court and released in 2007.

Immediately following the ICC move against Bashir last July, Khartoum said that Kushayb will stand trial on unspecified charges but recent remarks by Sudanese officials indicate that he is still being investigated.

Some observers have suggested that the government may be reluctant to prosecute Kushayb so as not to infuriate his Taisha tribe.

Asked about the arrest of opposition leader Hassan Al-Turabi earlier this year the Sudanese justice minister said that he ordered his arrest for “political reasons” and in accordance with powers conferred on him by the national security law.

“If a person being outside prison becomes a breach of security he is detained and whenever those reasons disappear he is released” Sabdarat said without elaborating.

The leader of the Popular Congress Party (PCP) was detained without charges and released last month after mediation of the Qatari government. Turabi was arrested after he called on Bashir to turn himself over to the ICC.

Sudanese officials have said that they will deal firmly with any person believed to be cooperating or sympathizing with the ICC. More than a dozen aid groups were expelled from Darfur last month after Khartoum accused them of passing information to the court.


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  • 13 April 2009 09:36, by Seeds_of_God

    2 Corinthians 4:4 - Satan is called ’god of this world.’

    To accomplish, will do nothing but "steal ... kill, and ... destroy ..." (John 10:10)

    Religion was first area of Satan’s Attack-sought to pull people away from God -

    Druidism & Witchraft were birthed in the ’mystery religion’ of Babylon Represents satanism because
    various gods & goddesses are actually demons. Power comes from Satan.

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