Jurist, Andrea Bottorff, Feb 9 2010
The African Union (AU) [official website] on Monday called for a hybrid court of Sudanese and foreign judges to hear trials of individuals accused of war crimes in Darfur[JURIST news archive]. The AU Implementation Panel, led by former South African president Thabo Mbeki [ANC profile], renewed its request for the combined court a week after the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] issued a ruling to reconsider genocide charges against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir [JURIST news archive]. The AU had issued a statement condemning the ICC decision and stressing the need for African participation [press release] in seeking justice in Sudan:
The African Union is confident that, with genuine support from the international community, the Sudanese people have the capacity to triumph over their long-standing divisions and accelerate the process of the pursuit of democracy and development. On its part the AU, which was the first to take the initiative and assume responsibility for peace and protection in Darfur, will remain actively engaged, as the crisis in Sudan is also Africa’s crisis; indeed, it profoundly affects the continent’s largest country at a critical moment in its national history, as well as its many neighbours and the continent as a whole. The African Union is convinced that the achievement of lasting peace, justice and reconciliation in Sudan requires Sudanese ownership and Africa’s leadership, with the full support of the international community.
Mbeki suggested that the hybrid court would help maintain Sudanese confidence [News24 report] in achieving justice for the people of Darfur.