Home | News    Wednesday 1 February 2012

AU may ask ICJ for opinion on Bashir’s immunity from ICC prosecution


January 31, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The leaders at the African Union (AU) summit in Addis Ababa asked the chairperson of the pan-African body to consider moving the case of Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for an opinion.

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Judges of the International Court of Justice

Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in connection with war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide allegedly committed in Sudan’s western region of Darfur since the conflict broke out between the central government in Khartoum and insurgents belonging mostly to African tribes.

The AU objected to the warrants and under pressure from late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi adopted several resolutions since 2009 calling on its members not to cooperate with the ICC in arresting the Sudanese leader even if they are signatories of the Rome Statute which is the founding text of the Hague tribunal.

This has enabled Bashir to travel to the African ICC member states of Chad, Kenya, Djibouti and Malawi without incidents as officials in these countries referred to AU decisions granting immunity to the Sudanese president in the continent.

But ICC judges issued a ruling last month asserting that the AU resolutions cannot be used as an excuse to flout member states obligations under the court’s treaty. They also dismissed arguments that Bashir’s status as a sitting head of state grants him immunity from criminal prosecution.

Today the Xinhua news agency reported that the AU leaders affirmed that the ICC has no legal powers to remove the immunity that international law grants to state officials who are not parties to the Rome Statute.

They asked the AU Commission to consider seeking advice from the ICJ regarding the immunity of state officials under international law.

In 2000 the ICJ held in its ruling on the Congo vs. Belgium that there are certain exceptions to the principle of immunity of serving officials where an incumbent “may be subject to criminal proceedings before certain international criminal courts, where they have jurisdiction. Examples include the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR)….and the future International Criminal Court (ICC)”.

It remains to be seen whether the AU will actually move forward with its plans to challenge the ICC warrant against Bashir before the ICJ.

In 2008 the Sudanese government backed away from requesting an ICJ advisory opinion on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution 1593 which referred the situation in Darfur to the ICC for investigations.

Khartoum has reportedly feared that an ICJ opinion may not come in its favour and thus weaken its position on the issue.


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  • 1 February 2012 07:58, by NUER ONE

    Bashir most be arrest and sent to ICC, either he likes it or not.Or let his rebels kill him like gadaffi of libya.

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    • 1 February 2012 08:12, by Dau-arok

      let president of the Repulic of sudan gen.Bashir go to ICC.

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      • 1 February 2012 09:02, by john agoet

        This organization so call African Union is a useless panel has been manipulated by outsiders regardless to the names nothing new when we hear such statements. Can you emergent this Bashier went publicly asking his army to kill who ever in his way in south Sudan, Darfur, Southern Blue Nile and southern Kordofan, as a result 3.5 million dead and look what are saying,we need a hard work to overcome

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    • 1 February 2012 09:06, by okucu pa lotinokwan



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      • 1 February 2012 11:27, by john agoet

        Let me tell you this guys Mr. Basheir is using the same technique being using with southerners ever since he paid a hard cash then let money do the job

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    • 1 February 2012 09:15, by Liberal

      Dear African Union leaders,

      Where were you when no fly zone and economic sanction was imposed on Libya? Where were you when Gaddafi was shamelessly murdered? The issue of my former President Bashir is a unique case and we won’t be interesting when crime of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity are not investigated. There is no sovereignty of the state in international law.

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  • 1 February 2012 08:26, by Sudan virus

    AU is ever the most hopeless organization in the world!An organization formed to protect African dictators.

    Better Arab League!Why? Because given special monitoring team members on Syrian headed by a man from terrorist country Sudan, were pulling out just because the team is working against the interest of the League and the peace loving people of Syria.

    What remarkable event has AU done ever!?

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    • 1 February 2012 08:37, by Sudan virus

      Other than protecting dictators, terrorist and worst of all-elements of foreign origin who intentionally what eliminate black Africa population on their historic land.

      Curs on team by the African Ancestors have already crushed one of then-Muhammar Gaddafi.

      The wise must pull out of this organization, if it continues protecting president Bashir from the ICC warrant- especial Libya, Uganda,Egypt,e

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  • 1 February 2012 08:36, by Mototo

    Bashiir must be taken to ICC for trial, i hope the court ICC do the good judgement to death by hanging.

    We don’t have space for Muslim criminals here on this earth, Fuck Bashiir, Fuck Darkangel, Fuck Jalaby and the rest of Arabic products !!!


    Son of SPLA

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    • 1 February 2012 09:34, by Aarai Baka

      One of the worse is that Gadaffi died and he was the one instructed the AU not to arrested Omar Hasan Bashir, after Gadaffi got into trouble with NATO members, Bashir come behind Gadaffi and stab him in the back helping puppet NTC to killed him. now Gadaffi knows what color is Bashir. AU should not wasted their time on him. arrested him will be the best for human lives saving.

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    • 1 February 2012 17:43, by Ajama

      Dear Mototo

      I have a dream that people in North will beg us in the near future. They were surviving on our oil all this time ok , what do you think they will survive on? They will come and event they will be our servants. hahahahah, South Sudan oooooyei the land of opportunities.........

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  • 1 February 2012 10:16, by pabaak

    AU never stood in justice because since its formation is been headed by dictators who value nothing about their people but their own interest, they never intervene in situation like genocide in Sudan, instead of advocating for rule of law and good governance in Africa, unfortunately they are for corruption, impunity and the harbored of genocidal Presidents, I was shock when they instruct our

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    • 1 February 2012 10:26, by pabaak

      delegation at the AU recently in Addias Ababa to open our oil free to Khartoum in addition to free money worth 6.5b, without even ask a single question about the behaviors of the Jalaba in stealing our oil, and I salute our delegation because they have shown to them that we have experience in these situations, our resources belong to us, is we, who can decide which to give or which not to give

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      • 1 February 2012 12:08, by Lang

        The AU is too corrupt, I don’t see a reason why we even joined. The AU is a bad influence for South Sudan, even though we are African maybe it wasn’t a good decision to join so early..

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  • 1 February 2012 10:35, by Tamongali

    Though iam not against the warrant of arrest to Bashir By ICC but in participial the ICC is only mend for poor nation such as Africa.Some Potential killers and criminals are roaming the world freely and peacefully without ICC opening its lips.

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  • 1 February 2012 10:48, by Tamongali

    Though iam not against the warrant of arrest to Bashir By ICC but in parincipal the ICC is only mend for poor nation such as Africa.Some Potential killers and criminals are roaming the world freely and peacefully without ICC opening its lips.

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  • 1 February 2012 11:02, by molana

    shame on AU and its leaders, who is Bashiir to you to support him, FYI, bashiir has nothing to bribe you again since we have taken our oil
    bashiir must face justice whether you want it or not, those whom he killed we created by the same God who created him

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    • 1 February 2012 13:51, by Michael Ajeo

      The opinion for AU on Bashir Immunity from ICC prosecution has a very big advantage between the two States, because issue of Darfur, Border, Abye, Militias and Oil are all the Major issues that brought misunderstanding between Khartoum and Juba.
      We the African we have to support the decision made by the AU on Bashir issue, because today is mine tomorrow is yours. Charity begins at home

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  • 1 February 2012 14:26, by siddaw

    Bashir and his defence minister must be arrested if ICC was not sleeping.

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    • 1 February 2012 17:05, by Wen De David Kuol

      ICC must take tought action now,

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      • 1 February 2012 17:31, by Ajama

        Dear Wen De Kuol David

        You are right dear South Sudan will get rest when Bashir is arrested. He arms Murle to attack Dinka, Nuer and Anuak, so that South sudan will not enjoy their independent which is a disaster to Khartoum. Northen Sudan is not happy about what had happened last year, so if ICC take this action seriously then South Sudan shall be born again I am telling you the truth mate

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    • 1 February 2012 17:16, by Ajama

      I think ICC is being manipulated some where else otherwise Bashir would have gone before Gaddafi so innocent person just Western World Regime. They would have searched for Bashir first and get rid of him. He killed two and half millions people in whole Sudan. Also, vice president of NCP should face ICC with Bashir too. What i know Arab leaders will finish one by one that’s terrific.

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  • 1 February 2012 19:02, by morogot batal

    fellow southerners....let us avoid politics...AU can not take us any where...let us african tribes of sudan find the way of defending our selves...itis our people that was been killed...lets shut our door in the face of any organisation that use to slow our manhood and we deal away with these devel than puting hope to hopeless organisations.....DEATH TO DEVEL BESHIR...GOD SSTAND WITH US...AMEEEEN

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    • 1 February 2012 23:53, by Frak Cho

      Dear Concerned Africans,
      Please forget the so call AU. AU is a custodian organizations for corrupt, dictators and power hungry African leaders.
      Basher used chemical weapons to invert Abyei in May 2011, what did AU do? Almost the world bodies condemned the attack, but AU was quite. I wish South Sudan shouldn’t have joined this useless body.

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