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Sudan invites UN & AU monitors to attend Darfur trials

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November 7, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese government has invited the United Nations (UN) and the African Union (AU), to dispatch observers to monitor the Darfur crimes tribunals set up by Khartoum.

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Chairman of Darfur Regional Authority (DRA) and head of the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM), Tijani Sissi (AP)

The chairman of the Darfur Regional Authority (DRA) Tijani al-Sissi, in a speech before the Legislative Council authority in North Darfur capital town of al-Fasher , said that the DRA made these requests formally through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Khartoum created the position of special prosecutor for Darfur crimes in 2003 to prove to the international community its seriousness in trying the perpetrators of crimes allegedly committed in the course of the Sudanese government’s war against armed rebels in western Sudan.

However, the first three prosecutors who occupied the position failed to bring charges against any individual despite credible reports of atrocities committed particularly during the zenith of the conflict in 2003 and 2004.

In accordance with the Doha Document for peace in Darfur (DDPD), the government is committed to try all perpetrators of war crimes and to establish a special court to deal with them.

Sudan’s failure to go after those responsible for committing Darfur crimes led the UN Security Council (UNSC) in March 2005 to refer the situation in Darfur to the International Criminal Court (ICC) after a UN commission of inquiry concluded that the Sudanese judiciary was unwilling or unable to carry out credible prosecutions in the war-ravaged region.

However, the Sudanese government refuses to cooperate with the ICC which has indicted president Bashir, his defense minister Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein, North Kordofan governor Ahmed Haroun, as well as militia leader Ali Kushayb.

In a related issue, al-Sissi disclosed that some of the DDPD non-signatories have expressed interest in cooperating for the sake of peace.

The DRA chief said that they welcome these gestures stressing that Sudan and Darfur can accommodate everyone for the process of development and construction.

He also revealed that he discussed with the minister of Interior the possibility of establishing a police community force comprised of IDP’s that would be trained by Darfur peacekeeping force (UNAMID).

Their mission would be to protect the areas of voluntary return in cooperation with the armed forces, police and the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS).

(ST)

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