Home | News    Monday 14 July 2008

African Union says concerned by ICC indictment of Sudanese chief


July 14, 2008 (ADDIS ABABA) — The African Union voiced concern Monday that a request by the International Criminal Court’s top prosecutor for an arrest warrant against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir could undermine peace efforts in the country.

"The AU’s position is that nothing should be done that might jeopardize the peace processes in Sudan," said El-Ghassim Wane, spokesman for the AU commission, the pan-African organization’s main executive body.

"Consultations are under way for an emergency meeting of the peace and security council to be held probably in Addis Ababa at a ministerial level," he told AFP.

Wane added that the AU’s peace and security commissioner, Ramtane Lamamra, would be in Sudan later Monday to discuss the issue.

Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the chief prosecutor of the Hague-based ICC, asked the court Monday for an arrest warrant for al-Bashir on 10 charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

If approved, it would be the first time the court had targeted a sitting head of state, and also the first time it had charged anyone with genocide, although other international tribunals have placed such charges.

The African Union, of which Sudan is a member, also issued an official statement voicing its reservations about the unprecedented move against Bashir.

Anticipating Moreno-Ocampo’s move, AU Commission chief Jean Ping had over the past few days consulted with the U.N., the Arab League and the Organization for the Islamic Conference on the issue, the statement said.

They had discussed "ways and means of addressing the situation and ensuring that the hard won gains made in the search for peace and reconciliation in the Sudan are not jeopardized," it added.

A peace agreement was signed in January 2005 between the Khartoum government and the southern rebels of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement, ending a two-decade civil war that had killed 1.5 million people.

But the deal’s implementation has encountered many problems and observers have warned that the country remains on the brink of a fresh north-south conflict.

Africa’s largest country is also in the throes of a five-year conflict in Darfur, the subject of the ICC prosecutor’s request for an arrest warrant. Peace initiatives here have so far failed to hold.

The U.N. says up to 300,000 people have died since the Darfur conflict broke out in February, 2003. The Sudanese government puts the death toll at 10,000.


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  • 14 July 2008 21:23, by Mr Point

    What has the African Union achieved in past 5 years of peace making?

    See how much the International Criminal Court achieved in the past day!

  • 14 July 2008 21:41, by Bol Madut

    These dictators in the So-called "African Union" club should be concern because the natural arm of justice is about to take it course and nobody immune from it, especially if you’re a criminal.

    The Indictment of Bashir was long overdue.

    The recent announcement by International Criminal Court’s (ICC) chief prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo to indict the so-called “Sudanese President” Bashir was long overdue. CRIMINAL Al-bashir should have been indicted long ago for the crimes he committed against the people of South Sudan and Nuba Mountain as well.

    Even though the ICC don’t succeed in apprehending this CRIMINAL Al-bashir (as I understand that China and Russia are tirelessly working day and night to block his indictment), it should be a clear message to many other African dictators who are living comfortably sucking on the blood of the African people.

    POWER to the people and HELL to the dictators!!

    • 14 July 2008 22:57, by Ben-Fu


      Ali Bashir

      Ali Taha

      Ali Turabi

      They are all times up!

  • 15 July 2008 01:05, by Pothwei Apet Bangoshoth

    The arrest of Omar Elbashir will not jeopadize the CPA process in Sudan because, he is not the only person who can solve Sudanese problems. He can be arrested to face all consequences about the crimes that he committed against humanity in Sudan.

    • 22 July 2008 20:09, by aliya boy

      Dear Common Sudanese,
      we don’t have good strong african leaders that have first piriority to serve and work for the common good of their countrise, the people. There are so many leaders over the years who don’t wanna leave their sit. They kill who ever is vocal against their system.

      Those so called African leaders might not be for the victims and their need as we can see in Sudan for example Darfur now. The so called African leaders do back up themselves because most of them are the same apple, only time will tell to expose them, they are just afraid of hanging, they should know that not every case end with hanging! some would be jail time.

      I’m sure there would not be any peaceful settlement now with the rebels in Darfur if the AU cited with Beshir in the name of fake peace and justice they are talking about.
      Why should there be fear if it is justice we all want? Beshir is only a person like anybody when it comes to honest justice. Who had an idea that Sadam would die by hanging, not to mention all his strong figure sons.

      Those people demonstrating for Beshir have got incentives given to them or just the Religion motivated them. With the suffering and death of the people in Sudan and Darfur in particular, every civilian and open minded people must be seeking for justice against any body involve.

      There is no peace without justice,
      justice first then we can talk peace with open heart and nothing to fear.
      thanks, Kitara

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