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Posts Tagged ‘Bashir’

Tim Witcher (AFP) – Dec 12 2010

UNITED NATIONS — The International Criminal Court faces a new battle of wills this week with Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir even as its top prosecutor says the wanted leader is increasingly encircled.

Bashir, who faces ICC warrants for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur, has been invited to a summit in Zambia on Wednesday and to attend a festival in Senegal later this month.

ICC statutes dictate that any member country should arrest him if he visits. Bashir is defiant, however, the African Union supports him, and this year he has been to Kenya and Chad, both signatory countries which refused to detain him.

“President Bashir will continue to travel, nobody will be able to restrict him,” Sudan’s UN ambassador Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman said.

Following ICC complaints and some international pressure, some diplomatic doors have closed, however.

An October summit of an East African group had to be moved from Kenya to Ethiopia, a non signatory, so that Bashir could go. Sudan boycotted an AU-European Union summit in November because of European threats to walk out and a visit to Central African Republic this month never went ahead.

South Africa and Uganda said they would arrest him if he went there.

“He is not under house arrest, he is under country arrest,” ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said as court signatory countries met at the United Nations.

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See Also Bashir’s canceled trip to Zambia, New York Times Dec 15 2010

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Read Full Report at: http://www.issafrica.org/pgcontent.php?UID=30455

Intro to Report:

This African expert study on the African Union’s (AU) concerns about article 16 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) seeks to articulate a clearer picture of the law and politics of article 16 deferrals within the context of the AU’s repeated calls to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to invoke article 16 to suspend the processes initiated by the ICC against President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan. The lack of a formal reply by the UNSC to the AU request has resulted in AU member states deciding to withhold cooperation from the ICC in respect of the arrest and surrender of Bashir. In light of the AU’s continued concerns, questions have arisen about the UNSC’s exercise of the controversial deferral power contained in article 16. This culminated in the AU proposing that article 16 be amended to empower the UN General Assembly to act should the UNSC fail to decide on a deferral request after six months.

Although states parties to the Rome Statute have shown little support for the AU’s proposed amendment to article 16, the merits of the AU proposal must be considered. A failure to engage with African government concerns about the deferral provision could further damage the ICC’s credibility in Africa. Constructive suggestions about the ‘article 16 problem’ must be developed in order to contribute towards resolving the negative stance that some African countries have taken towards the ICC. The challenge is to devise both legally sound and politically palatable options. For many Africans, the ICC’s involvement in Sudan has come to reflect the skewed nature of power distribution within the UNSC and global politics. The result is that the uneven political landscape of the post-World War II collective security regime has become a central problem of the ICC.

It is also important to pay attention to the AU’s concerns and its request for an article 16 deferral of the Bashir indictment because the matters underlying the tension – how ICC prosecutions may be reconciled with peacemaking initiatives and the role and power of the UNSC in ICC business – are likely to arise in the future with respect to other situations. Solutions must be found to problems that may arise in working out the relationship between the UNSC and the ICC. The study therefore makes practical suggestions about how to resolve the concerns raised within certain African government circles and other developing nations about the relationship between the UNSC and the ICC, and the relationship between the ICC and peacemaking initiatives of governments and regional organisations.

 

 

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Sudan Tribune

eptember 16, 2010 (KHARTOUM) – A meeting of the Arab league foreign ministers today endorsed a resolution reaffirming its position in rejecting the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against the Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir for war crimes and genocide allegedly committed in Darfur.

An Arab Ministerial Committee on the affairs of the Sudan expressed solidarity with Sudan and face of the ICC’s decisions and called annulling the warrants noting that Sudan is not a member of this Court.

The committee which is comprised of Egypt, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Libya, Qatar, Sudan, UAE, Oman and Syria slammed “attempts to politicize the principles of international justice and used in the erosion of State sovereignty , unity and stability”.

The ICC’s first-ever warrant against a sitting head of state was issued for Bashir in March 2009 on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The second was issued in July 2010 on charges of genocide.

The United Nations says up to 300,000 people have died since conflict broke out in Darfur in 2003, when ethnic minority rebels took up arms against the Bashir’s Arab-dominated regime for a greater share of resources and power.

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The Epoch Times Marco’t Hoen Aug 29 2010

Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Sunday said it was wrong of the country to invite Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir to the ceremony for the signing of Kenya’s new constitution on Friday.

Odinga was unaware that Bashir had been invited to the ceremony, the Sudan Tribune Reported.

Bashir is wanted for crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for his role in genocide in Sudan’s Darfur region.

Kenya is a signatory of the ICC and is obligated to arrest Bashir and turn him over to the ICC in The Hague.

When Odinga spoke Sunday at a special prayer service in Nairobi to celebrate the new constitution, he said Bashir’s presence and failure of the Kenyan government to arrest him was wrong, and that Kenya must honor its obligations as a signatory of the Rome Statute and other international agreements.

“We must foster good neighborliness, that is very important and that’s why we invited neighbors to come, but if you have a neighbor who is a witch, you don’t invite them to a party,” the prime minister said, according to the Kenyan based privately owned news company, Capital News.

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AFP Aug 29 2010

Former UN chief Kofi Annan said on Sunday Kenya should clarify its position on the International Criminal Court after it last week hosted Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir, wanted for genocide.

“Like many, I was surprised by the presence of President Al-Bashir of Sudan in Nairobi for the promulgation of Kenya?s new constitution,” Annan said in a statement in his capacity as chair of the Panel of Eminent African Personalities.

“Kenya has specific obligations as a signatory of the Rome statute and is also cooperating with the International Criminal Court on investigations relating to the 2007/8 election violence,” said the text issued in Nairobi.

“In the circumstances, the government should clarify its position and reaffirm its cooperation with and commitment to the ICC,” said Annan, whose team brokered a power-sharing deal between Kenyan President Mwai Kabaki and his former foe turned prime minister Raila Odinga after the 2008 violence.

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VOA New Aug 29 2010

Kenya has rejected international criticism over the inclusion of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in Friday’s Promulgation Day festivities.  The east African nation has defended its actions as necessary for regional stability and national security.

At a news conference in Nairobi, members of the Kenyan government defended the decision to invite controversial Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir to the Friday signing of the country’s new constitution.  The International Criminal Court has issued two warrants for Mr. Bashir under allegations of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Darfur.

Kenya, a signatory to the court, was blasted by the international community for failing to arrest Mr. Bashir and present him to The Hague.

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ICC Asks for UN Action

VOA News Aug 28 2010

The International Criminal Court is asking the U.N. Security Council to take action against Kenya for hosting Sudan’s president in defiance of international warrants for his arrest.

ICC judges in The Hague said Friday Kenya has a “clear obligation” as a member of the court to cooperate in enforcing its arrest warrants for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

Mr. Bashir was one of several regional leaders who traveled to Nairobi for Friday’s ceremonial signing of the new Kenyan constitution.  Kenyan Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula says Mr. Bashir was invited because he is the head of a friendly neighboring state.

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More Stories:

Daily Nation

BBC on Kenya Constitution Signing

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July 12, 2010 The Times of India-

UNITED NATIONS: Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, has been slapped with three counts of genocide in Darfur by the International Criminal Court at The Hague.

Last year, an arrest warrant for war crimes and crimes against humanity was issued against the leader of the largest country in Africa. The Court’s pre-trial chamber said that there are reasonable grounds to believe that Bashir is responsible for three counts of genocide against the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups in the region.

The charges include genocide by killing; genocide by causing serious bodily or mental harm; and genocide by deliberately inflicting conditions of life meant to destroy each target group. The conflict between the ethnic tribes of Darfur and the predominantly Arab government has been persisting for almost ten years.

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AFP

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