Home | News    Wednesday 4 March 2009

D-day for Sudan president as ICC decides on war crimes case

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March 3, 2009 (WASHINGTON) — The international community and Sudan are waiting nervously for a hotly anticipated by the judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges made by its prosecutor against Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir.

The Hague-based court has announced that its Italian Registrar Silvana Arbia and the ICC spokesperson, Laurence Blairon will present the ruling during a press conference on Wednesday afternoon at 1300 GMT (1600 Sudan local time).

The ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo was also scheduled to make a statements afterwards.

On July 14th 2008 Ocampo filed 10 charges: three counts of genocide, five of crimes against humanity and two of murder and accused Al-Bashir of masterminding a campaign to get rid of the African tribes in Darfur; Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa.

The move triggered a hot debate within the international community as some have warned that indicting a serving head of state during civil conflict will only fuel more tension and jeopardize any prospects for peace.

Last minute efforts by the Arab League and African Union (AU) to push for a UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution to halt the ICC proceedings against Bashir have failed to yield any results as Western veto wielding countries voiced strong opposition.

The French envoy at the United Nations (UN) Jean-Maurice Ripert told reporters at the UN headquarters today that his government saw no need for a UNSC suspension under Article 16 of the ICC Statute.

The provision allows the council to suspend the ICC prosecutions in any case for a period of 12 months that can be renewed indefinitely.

“The French position is very clear and constant, there is no matter for using Article 16. There was no cooperation whatsoever between the authorities of Sudan with the ICC so there is no reason to raise the case” Ripert said.

Sudan has accused Western powers of using the ICC as a political tool to secure concessions in return for halting prosecutions. Countries including US, UK & France have suggested that only a “radical” change on the ground particularly in Darfur would warrant a suspension.

Khartoum has dispatched envoys all over the world to rally support but so far few countries have done more than express varying degrees of verbal solidarity.

Russia and China, Sudan’s heavyweight allies, have surprisingly appeared far less outspoken than other friends of Khartoum on the ICC row. Both UNSC permanent members have said that they will not table any Article 16 resolution.

On the other side many observers publicly and privately have criticized the ICC prosecutor’s strategy of targeting Bashir and particularly questioned the counts of genocide he incorporated in his case.

However Ocampo told a small group of reporters at the court’s headquarters in The Hague today that Bashir’s intention “was to exterminate three [African] ethnic groups and that is why it is genocide according to our view”.

“We have more than 30 different witnesses who will present how he managed and controlled everything” he told journalists.

But Bashir appeared dismissed the possible ICC warrant during a celebration of inaugurating a massive hydroelectric project.

“They will issue their decision tomorrow ... this coming decision, they can prepare right now: they can eat it (the warrant)” Bashir told a crowd of cheering supporters in northern Sudan on Tuesday.

Bashir’s supporters took pictures of Ocampo and strew them on the ground to be trampled on by the crowd.

“The Western world is targeting Sudan in order to stop... its development projects but we don’t absolutely care” Bashir said. “We will respond to all these decisions with new development projects”.

If the judges approve the arrest warrant which looks all but certain the challenge will be to process by which the Sudanese leader can be apprehended.

The UNSC resolution 1593 which referred the Darfur case to the ICC mandates cooperation by all warring parties which would include the government as well as the rebels. Other countries were simply urged to cooperate.

But 108 ICC members have a legal duty to arrest Bashir if present on their territories though there are signs that some African states would be unwilling to carry out such a task.

Yesterday Ocampo speaking to Al-Jazeera Arabic language television that Bashir will be nabbed as soon as he leaves Sudan.

“Once president Bashir leaves Sudanese territory he could be taken into custody” the ICC prosecutor said.

But even if the Sudanese president is not arrested it is likely that his contacts with other states will be degraded, at least publicly.

Sudan has warned that it will respond to any country that plans to degraded or severe contact with Bashir.

Last year it was reported that the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has been advised by the Legal department in the world body to “distance himself politically” from the Sudanese president following the ICC indictment.

European Union (EU) officials are prohibited from conducting dialogue with individuals indicted by the ICC.

It is expected that Sudan will stage massive rallies in response to the ICC decision on Wednesday. Most opposition political parties have rallied behind Bashir and condemned the ICC for targeting the head of state.

Sudanese authorities have issued warning that will deal firmly with any individuals who sympathize or cooperate with the ICC.

The leader of the Popular Congress Party (PCP) Hassan Al-Turabi has been jailed for over a month days after calling on Bashir to surrender himself to the ICC.

Khartoum vowed to protect foreign missions and UN staff but warned that it may not be able to control reactions by outlaws. It remains to be seen whether violent reprisals will take place following an unfavorable ICC decision.

Furthermore many countries will be monitoring any negative developments with regards to implementation of the North-South peace agreement which some feared would unravel if Bashir was to be charged.

On the economic front Sudan says it is prepared for prospects of any sanctions by the UNSC because of the ICC case.

Last month the Sudanese Energy Minister Al-Zubeir Ahmed al-Hassan told Reuters in an interview that investors are thinking twice about doing business in Sudan in light of the ICC move.

This week the Sudanese pound slid to its lowest levels against the dollar in four years for what appeared as a result of rush to safe haven by Sudanese citizens fearing reprecussions after ICC decision.

However Sudanese officials denied any such link.

UN experts estimate some 300,000 people have died and 2.5 million driven from their homes. Sudan blames the Western media for exaggerating the conflict and puts the death toll at 10,000.

(ST)

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  • 4 March 2009 07:47, by Jonglei Kuereng

    The clock is ticking for Mr Bashir. He is on the death row. Death is easy but life is hard.

    repondre message

    • 4 March 2009 08:34, by Ichok Malou

      Hey Mr president

      Do not cry be a man as you use to say to your dumb PDF.
      it is time for darkiness devil to look down on his ass and cleaning it for the first time without calling sombody to do the job for him.you used janjeeds to torrize the entire durfur poplution and now the janjeews are not facing the consequences of your mess.

      I could tell from your picture above that your eye sight is giving you a blur image of persecutor Mr Ocampo and you lost your balls though you don’t either have them as a result of South-North war fifteen years ago.

      The blood of human beings count reguardless of the background religion and skin colour but wasn’t counting to you for three years. I personally watched a documentary made by an American soldier who went to Durfur it’s call ’DEVIL ON HORSE’. The Janjeews commander confessed by saying ’we are told to kill them they not people but just slaves’.What I know now this not thirteen centuries you SO call Arab sold black and occupied thier land and re-name them,today slaves are not humilated or freely kill whenever you feel like.

      I hope there will be a time whereby all former presidents and prime ministers would come to justices whether they like it or not unless Sudan is divided into two countries that’s when they can escape the perscution.
      Good luck mr Bashir and have fun with ICC and hope you are not going be stammering otherwise you will embarass yourself.SEE YOU BACK AS a disciplined human who understands life is not created nor destroyed by another human being except Almight Father God.

      repondre message

    • 4 March 2009 09:21, by Samuel Lwal

      Mr dear readers be happy but mind you that Al Basher is not going to ICC.Its just a matter of issuing arrest warrant but who will apprehend him????

      repondre message

      • 4 March 2009 10:02, by junub

        Lwal,

        Just keep with your crying then if we are happy. You know what, you right to ask us that question because you have no clue why it took this long for El Bashir to be trail. In fact it wasn’t because he is not found guilty to any of the charged cases against him, but instead to how will he be tracked down, and answer to that is already gotten. So don’t let fear and cry panicking you because everything has finished planning how but rather to implement soon. You ask as if you are living in the cage. You should have ask yourself first how was Saddam was got but not this Bashir who is crying before the ICC is announced

        repondre message

  • 4 March 2009 08:32, by lotueng Junub

    I would expect President Bashir to honourably step down this afternoon when an ICC arrest warrant is issued to avoid Sudan confrontation with the International Community.

    a man should face a crime he committed with ful strength and accountability.

    Lotueng Junub.

    repondre message

    • 4 March 2009 08:53, by junub

      Don’t cry Bashir you have no kids to leave behind unless you crying for other people’s kids you have not kill yet. After all you are not going to go to hell but to paradise as you been preaching all this time. Just make sure to care your room’s key with you Mr. president cause you might end up a homeless if you happen to forget them in prison with Turabi.

      repondre message

      • 4 March 2009 09:10, by James

        look at him! he started crying like a baby. shame on you mr president!!!!. it is too late for crying to solve the case; just surrender yourself to ICC and face justic mr criminal. this is the consequence of your bloody leadership.

        repondre message

        • 4 March 2009 12:25, by Saaid Nafe

          I don’t understand why most people are unhappy about ICC indocument of AL-Bhasir.I would rather suggest that we should be cullum and see the result this afternoon.Everyone is responsible in front of the law about his own act.

          repondre message

          • 4 March 2009 14:55, by manyok R

            Al bashire would be a tragic fallen hero for Islam or Arabs’s peopple, but for us the victims of his vicious crimes of mass murders, rapes, and discriminations, we will always remember him as a Villainous tyrant we ever had in history of our country Sudan. Thanks to the ICC and World at large. There is a little of a just belief in the World. We south Sudanese and Darfur victims will never ever forget this day in our history as long as our history will go.

            repondre message

            • 4 March 2009 16:37, by Thon Daakdit

              Hey Mr Umaar Al bitch shire, look at you! what do you think about the ICC decision? You looking like somebody had something hard on his/her neck or head, you looks like you starting crying while the issue wouldn’t been announced yet! that’s good your Sudanese Citizen are been looked like the same way you looks when you killed them. And you will be lean from now that life is a life. You had been told that Sudanese Citizen are been cried in their soil and you continuing kill them, and if the ICC go head and announce the expected issue, that will be the time you be know that every DOG has its own day.
              See you in the held son of the bitch.
              Thanks ICC

              repondre message

              • 4 March 2009 19:24, by Wilson Wutchok Dhal

                Go we are tired of you

                repondre message

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