Home | News    Wednesday 1 February 2012

HRW asks UN Secretary General to query UNAMID chief on attending wedding with Bashir


January 31, 2012 (WASHINGTON) – The New York based Human Rights Watch (HRW) sent a letter to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon last Friday asking him to take action regarding the presence of the head of the Darfur peacekeeping mission, United Nations - African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), Ibrahim Gambari at a wedding attended by Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir.

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Sudanese President Omer Hassan al-Bashir (R) talks to UNAMID Joint Special Representative (JSR) and Joint Chief Mediator Ibrahim Gambari during the wedding ceremony between the daughter of tribal leader Musa Hilal and Chad President Idriss Deby in Khartoum January 20, 2012 (Reuters)

This month Gambari attended the wedding of Chad’s President Idriss Deby to the daughter of an alleged leader of Darfur Janjaweed militia Musa Hilal. He was shown in photos exchanging talks with Bashir who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for allegedly orchestrating war crimes and genocide in Darfur.

Hilal is also subject to travel and financial sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in 2006.

But Gambari told Agence France Presse (AFP) last week that he had no apologies for attending the ceremony "in honor of the president of a country [Deby] that is supportive of the peace process".

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UNAMID Joint Special Representative (JSR) and Joint Chief Mediator Ibrahim Gambari (L) congratulates Musa Hilal, the father of the bride, during the wedding ceremony between Hilal’s daughter and Chad President Idriss Deby in Khartoum January 20, 2012 (Reuters)

However, Deby was absent from the wedding reception for unknown reasons.

In a letter signed by HRW executive director Kenneth Roth it was recalled that UN guidelines limits interactions with individuals indicted by international tribunals to “what is strictly required for carrying out UN mandated activities”.

HRW said it understood that with regards to Bashir, UN rules state that “interactions of a ceremonial nature with President Al-Bashir should be avoided, including courtesy calls, receptions, photo opportunities, attendance at national day celebrations and so on”.

“Discounting these guidelines brings the UN’s credibility in disrepute and sends a terrible message to victims of heinous crimes in Darfur. Indeed, images of Mr. Gambari embracing President al-Bashir have been widely circulated, showing Darfuri victims that the head of UNAMID socialises with suspected war criminals”.

The letter revealed that the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (UNDPKO) told HRW that Gambari attended the wedding “at the invitation of President Deby … [and had] no control over the guest list”.

“The UN’s guidelines seek to deny President al-Bashir, and others wanted for serious international crimes, the legitimacy that may come with such ceremonial interactions. UN officials should firmly adhere to them. We trust that you will formally raise these concerns with Mr. Gambari and take appropriate action to avoid a repetition of these events”.

This is not the first time UNAMID officials interactions with Bashir has generated controversy.

Gambari’s predecessor Rodolphe Adada was awarded the Nilein Order, first class in recognition of his efforts in Darfur peacekeeping mission.

Adada later said that he not only reports to UN but also to the African Union which has its own opinion regarding the ICC warrant for Bashir.

Rebel groups drawn mainly from Darfur’s non-Arab tribes rose up against the Arab-dominated Khartoum government in 2003 and were confronted by state-backed Janjaweed militia in a conflict that shocked the world and led to allegations of genocide.


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  • 1 February 2012 08:46, by Mototo

    Ban Ki Moon;

    Dear Mr. Secretary please u must intervene in this case otherwise ur force are doing nothing rather than business in Darfur/Sudan.

    are they here to eat from other people’s blood?

    Son of SPLA

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    • 1 February 2012 09:04, by Big Boy

      Dear Son Of SPLA
      My friend you are right Africa’n are cowads just they are feeding their families with our bloodshed like what had happened in Abyei all the time!when Zambia troops were deployed there they were doing nothing and failed to protect the civilian population in Abyei,so we pray to almighty God who can protecting us from the devils,anger’s african leaders!!

      Sugar plus

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      • 1 February 2012 09:23, by okucu pa lotinokwan

        HRW, are very correct on this issue,the mistake is from the one who appointed Gambari to be UNSPGS for UNAMID,since Gambari is from the weak and poor country why to bring in such person,please make change on this now


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      • 1 February 2012 11:56, by john agoet

        what AU and Gambari you people talking about Serve up your wards to another article because of these people why Africa counts as poorest nations in the world, they don’t bother

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    • 1 February 2012 09:30, by Anti Dinka’s


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      • 1 February 2012 11:28, by Lorolokin

        Gambari is like the former JSR MR Adada who once also behave in a bad faith against the Darfuris. The fanniest thing is that Basher doesn’t want anybody other than African so he can bribe them easily like what he does to Alpha Conary and the current Ping Pong including Mbeki.
        What a joke.


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  • 1 February 2012 08:50, by Sudan virus

    More than ridiculous!African UNIONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN.

    Shame on you Gambari!

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    • 1 February 2012 09:18, by Gangura

      President Bashir is die heart Muslim I love him this matherfucker ICC should fuck their way, not all the time we need this person.

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    • 1 February 2012 09:26, by Adviser




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  • 1 February 2012 09:16, by modi Losombek

    To: ICC,UN, HRW & so on,

    Your action is a reward to the Innocent people of Darfur, Blue Nile, Nuba Mountains and the rest in Sudan.

    More talking is unhelpful means and therefore, take any necessary measures to freed all people cited above.

    Thanks and wish all soon.

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  • 1 February 2012 10:24, by Martin Garang Aher

    Gambari is also wicked if he interacts with wicked people. Khartoum must have stuffed his pockets and that is why he stooped so low. For Darfuris, run when you see either Musa Hilal or Gambari. They are all janjaweeds.

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  • 1 February 2012 10:41, by Tamongali

    UNAMID, you are doing nothing only you show your muscles on very useless issues ( such as attending marriage parties).

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  • 1 February 2012 11:44, by mohammed ali

    HRW .., this is laughable!! Gambari is an African and is invited to a social occasion.Wedding in Africa is a social celebration.These are African traditions, the white-man cannot stop us from practising our traditions.Those who enslaved Africa for centuries can no longer dictate to us how to live our life.Funny that there some love to lick the white-man shoes!Wake up & have some pride!

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    • 1 February 2012 12:46, by Logic

      Bla bla.... go ahead turn everything into a White man issue.

      This is about an international body and its association with a wanted criminal who’s arrest warrant is sanctioned by the very same entity in question. Do you see the technicality or do you choose to be dumb by intention. lol

      The White man has done bad things to Africa, but what is your NCP doing to Sudanese citizens as I type? Fool...

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      • 1 February 2012 13:17, by mohammed ali

        Logic, the typical hypocrite jalabbe!((He quotes “Uk.reuters” as a source of reference and the assertion of some unknown "lawyers" is suppose to convince the readers of the legal aspect of the Sudanese oil crisis))Denying Reuters as the biggest international agency and can refer to " named" lawyers from known firms and then suddenly blaming for condemening the typical white hypocricy, claiming..co

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        • 1 February 2012 13:28, by mohammed ali

          ..that I turn everything in white man issue.What a hypocricy!HRW which is based in US should give us a good example of it’s neutrality by asking Obama not to see President Bush for atrocities & war crimes commited everywhere and pursue their crussade against him the same way they are doing with Basheer.Let them just try!White-man policies are still cripilling Africans e.g Zimbabwi.

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    • 1 February 2012 15:58, by john agoet

      To Mr. Mohamed Ali
      Let’s put it in this way. MR. Gambari is an investigator to homicide involves MR Al Bashier do you think by your own judgment a fair to be a friends to that stand of inviting each other in a social gathering, is nothing to do with African traditions it is immoral and unethical concern

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    • 1 February 2012 19:50, by morogot batal


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