Home | News    Friday 28 January 2011

Sudan urges AU countries to walk out from ICC, cites Kenya’s case

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January 27, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – African nations should reconsider an en masse withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC), a Sudanese official said today.

The plea was made during a speech by the Sudanese state minister for foreign affairs Kamal Hassan Ali at the 18th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council in Addis Ababa.

Ali said that the ICC interference in Sudan hurt the political process in Darfur through politicizing justice and as a result of the conduct of its prosecutor whom he described as a "political activist".

To date, the Hague tribunal charged three individuals from the government side including president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir, South Kordofan governor Ahmed Haroun and militia leader Ali Kushayb.

All three face charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity but Bashir is also wanted for genocide in connection with claims that he orchestrated a campaign to wipe out the African tribes of Fur, Zaghawa and Masaalit in Darfur.

The AU backed Bashir and instructed its members not to cooperate with the ICC in apprehending Bashir even if they are signatories to the Rome Statute which is the founding treaty of the ICC.

However, some countries later dissented from this resolution.

The Sudanese diplomat cited the Kenyan case investigated by the court saying it demonstrated what they have warned of before.

"You may recall that we told you that Bashir is not the target [of the ICC] but that it is the beginning of a scenario aimed at African leaders one after the other and right now you bear witness on the validity of this scenario developed by Ocampo with suspicious circles," Ali said in his prepared remarks.

"This requires from us bold and courageous decisions leading to the withdrawal from this politicized court which was devoted to Africa and deliberately turned a blind eye for what happened in Iraq, Gaza and Afghanistan," he added.

In June 2009 a special meeting was convened in Addis Ababa for the purpose of discussing collective withdrawal from the court by the 30-plus African members.

Sudan has lobbied African countries to withdraw their ratification of the treaty as a show of solidarity while some Sudanese officials have said that they hope such action would weaken The Hague based court.

But the proposal was turned down and the participants reiterated call on the UN Security Council (UNSC) to suspend the case against Bashir.

Currently, the AU summit is considering a request from Kenya to support a UNSC deferral of the case against six of its citizens named in an application by the ICC prosecutor last month.

Kenya argues it needs time to pass laws meant to revamp the judiciary and appoint a new Chief Justice as required under its new constitution promulgated in August, enabling the country to establish a local court or tribunal to try the cases.

However critics claim that the Kenyan government wants to protect its top class from prosecution and that the parliament has failed twice before the ICC intervention to agree on a local tribunal. Furthermore, they said that the UNSC cannot defer ICC cases unless it decides that the situation poses a threat to international peace and security.

The AU, which said last Friday during the visit by Kenyan Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka to Addis Ababa that it was focused on combating impunity, has urged Kenya to work closely with the ICC over the trials.

"We haven’t called for Kenya to ignore the ICC ... Kenya is in the process of setting up a judiciary which was not functioning to the confidence of the people before this constitution was put in place," the commission’s deputy chairman, Erastus Mwencha, told Reuters.

"Kenya is now saying directly (it wants) to set up a system that can enable it to try those individuals, and if the ICC will give them that opportunity then they will try (them). They have given the indication that they will work with the ICC."

Nonetheless it is expected that heads of state will endorse the Kenya’s request though countries like Botswana said they are opposed to it.

(ST)

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  • 28 January 2011 10:34, by Mr. Long John

    Colonial era and the Hague,

    Mr. Kamal, I agree with you on one thing and disagree with you on the other hand. My disagreement being the escuse of defending Al Bashir. He should face justice with his colleagues----Haroun and----after july 10, 2011. That will be the best time on.On the same token, while their prosecution is going on, the African leaders should look critically into the policies and criteria of the Hague. I have never heard of any western leader being indicted or whatsoever and what normally happens is the annoucement of African typical leaders. to my dismay, this is a ruling on the Africans, Asians----and I would rather term it’an organized 2nd colonization’. Lets African find their own way of dealing with continental issues and let see who will be the next customer to the Hague based Judiciary. Kamal is seeing clearly into what is happening in that Hague house.Am sure if President GOERG W.BUSH was an African leader, he would have been behind bars now! watch out!

    This is a time to say no to colonization. We are equal.

  • 28 January 2011 10:50, by Lokaku

    Only criminals will join other criminals in walking away from the ICC. The new Republic of South Sudan must join the ICC and hunt down the murderer Bashir. Yes, he murdered my brother and several of my friends at the so called white house in Juba. He must face justice. The new Republic of South Sudan should emulate Botswana which among all African Countries has stood the moral high ground in everything it does.

  • 28 January 2011 15:33, by Kon Paul Awenchol

    It will be a hard time for Sudan to use carrot politics with they African leaders to defence Bashir but it is not also realistics for they African leaders to withdraw their membership from the Rome statue,the foreign minsiter of Sudan is at a state below for the World emerging politics,to defence Bashir at this time is worsening,the good role to be played is to advice President Bashir to co-operate with ICC through the state dialogue.all they African leaders have been fool already to submit their membership to the ICC bench,so why people are running away now,what is happening? Bashir must face justice.WHAT WILL NOT HAPPEN TODAY CAN HAPPEN ANOTHER TIME,AND YOU WILL GET SUPRISE.

    By true citizen.

    • 28 January 2011 21:35, by Ito

      NCP,
      Advising other nations to walk out from justice meeting is an indication that you are a criminal because a criminal is always afraid of the police. Any leader that listens to the statement issued by the sudanses government and do as they say should consider her or himself as of the same feather with NCP regime in Khartoum.

      thanks



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