SUDAN WATCH: Sudan says its Darfur court is 'competent' and would block ICC team from investigating

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Sudan says its Darfur court is 'competent' and would block ICC team from investigating

Last year, to avoid facing International Criminal Court prosecutors, the Sudanese government created its own court to try Darfur criminals, but had come under fire by rebels and rights groups who saw it as a deliberate bid to avoid international justice.

Understandably (surely he believes he and his henchmen's names are on UN/ICC list of 51 suspects) Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir vowed never to hand over any Sudanese to international jurisdiction.

News report 11 January 2006 quotes Sudan's justice minister, Mohamed Ali al-Mardhi, as saying on Tuesday that Sudan courts were competent:
"We are satisfied with the competence of our judiciary and therefore we shall not allow any foreign tribunal to do this job", he said.

Asked if the international prosecutor had sent teams into Sudan to investigate, Mardhi said: "He has not asked for that and if he has done so, we will not permit such a team to do investigation in Sudan."
Note, the report states Mardhi made the comments after presiding over a ceremony in which rival tribes signed a reconciliation accord that closed a case in which 126 people of the non-Arab Burgud tribe were killed a year ago in an attack by Arab Rizaigat and Turjum tribes on Hamadah village, in Shiairiyah district, about 30km north of Nyala.

Also, Mardhi said that after the Eid Al-Fitr feast, his ministry and the judiciary would set a date for the trial of those involved in the Hamadah attack.
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African Union investigates Hamadah attack

Excerpt from UK Parliament Hansard 27 Jan 2005

"Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the Sudanese authorities on the reports of a combined attack by the Government of Sudan airforce and the Janjaweed militas upon the village of Hamada, in Southern Darfur, on 16 January. [211457]

Mr. Alexander: We have repeatedly made clear to the Government of Sudan and the rebels that they must respect the ceasefire and abide by the Abuja Protocols, including the Government's commitment to refrain from military overflights of Darfur.

The African Union is currently investigating the alleged Arab militia attack on the village of Hamadah. We await the result of its investigation."

Further reading:

Oct 1, 2005 - War crimes warnings from UN and UK on Darfur Sudan.

Oct 1, 2005 - Important African Union Statement on Security in Darfur.


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