SUDAN WATCH: Mustafa Osman Ismail on Sudan TV issues message with a threat to foreign guests

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Mustafa Osman Ismail on Sudan TV issues message with a threat to foreign guests

Some of today's news from Sudan Radio Service:

4 March - (Khartoum) - In response to the ICC arrest warrant, the presidential advisor to Omar al-Bashir, Dr. Mustafa Osman Ismail, appearing on Sudan TV, said that the decision was expected.

He described it as a conspiracy against Sudan by western countries.

[Mustafa Osman Ismail]: “The government is committed to protecting our foreign guests, but I am connecting this message with a threat. Any foreigner in Sudan, whether a diplomat, or a tourist, or an employee with the international organizations should respect these three things. First, the country’s law. Second, the customs and traditions of the Sudanese people and thirdly, the agreement signed between the government and the organizations. If you want to stay respectful and to be appreciated in Sudan, you should respect these three things. Otherwise, they should leave Sudan immediately and voluntarily before we force them to.”

The ICC decision was followed by public demonstrations of support for al-Bashir particularly in Khartoum.
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4 March - (Nairobi) - Following the decision by the ICC on Wednesday, Sudan Radio Service asked Francois Grignon, the director of the Africa Program at the International Crisis Group, for his reaction to the news from The Hague.

[Francois Grignon]: “Any peace which doesn’t provide a component of justice is indeed extremely fragile. Crimes which have been committed leave very strange marks on the community and the desire for revenge remains very strong when justice has not been found. Now, finding justice can be provided through different ways, it doesn’t have to necessarily be the International Criminal Court, it depends. First of all, the ICC only deals with genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

Grignon said that he didn’t think that Wednesday’s decision would damage the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, saying that the CPA had weathered greater challenges in the past.

[Francois Grignon] “The CPA suffered but survived after the death of John Garang. CPA provisions allocate posts to different signatories. In this case of course, the indictment of the president is going to shake the CPA. It is going to have a political impact which will add tension to the CPA as the National Congress Party is going to demand solidarity and support from the SPLM, as its key partner in the Government of National Unity and the key partner in the implementation of the CPA. But the CPA is not about who holds positions, the CPA is about a peace process which hopes to solve and resolve a 20-year war.”

The ICC announced its decision to issue an arrest warrant for President al-Bashir early on Wednesday afternoon.
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4 March - (Khartoum) - Speaking to Sudan Radio Service on Wednesday from Khartoum, a lawyer and opposition politician, Farouk Abu Issa, describes the next step in the judicial process following the ICC decision to issue an arrest warrant for President al-Bashir.

[Farouk Abu Issa]: “Orders will be given to the suspect to appear before the court to present proof against the accusations individually or through a lawyer. If the person fails to appear before the court, the court can issue the arrest warrant against him. The problem with the ICC is that it has no direct means of implementing the arrest. It has no special judicial police or enforcement mechanisms with which to implement the arrest warrant. So the ICC relies on the mechanisms available in the international community to arrest the suspected person to take them into custody and ensure that they appear before the court.  The ICC can also go to the UN to ask the UN to issue a demand to the mentioned person to appear before the court. If the UN orders the warrant, all the permanent members of the UN should, together with the signatory countries to the Rome declaration, arrest the person if he enters their country’s airspace or territory. The arrest warrant can even be implemented by Interpol.  In July, the ICC prosecutor will present his report to the UN. Then, the UN Security Council has the power to impose tough sanctions on the country, according to a clause in the Rome agreement. The clause underlines the protection of international peace and gives the UN the right to intervene militarily - and that is the most dangerous part of it.”

That was Farouk Abu Issa, a prominent lawyer and opposition politician, speaking from Khartoum.
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4 March - (Juba) - The President of the Government of Southern Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit, said that despite the decision by the International Criminal Court to issue an arrest warrant for President Omar Al Bashir, the Sudanese people will not hand over the president to the ICC.

Addressing a press conference in Juba on Tuesday before the ICC announced its decision to issue the warrant, Kiir said that the SPLM and the National Congress Party are committed to protecting President al-Bashir.

[Salva Kiir]:“Nobody in Sudan or anybody coming from anywhere will hand over President al-Bashir to the ICC. In the first place, it is the first of it kind that the head of state serving in office has been ever indicted. It is a thing that has not happened before and because of that I don’t think that the Sudanese will be in a position to hand over President al-Bashir, even if the announcement was made. In any case, I have made it clear before in my statement that it will not be the end of everything by itself.”

Kiir appealed to the armed forces and law enforcement agencies to maintain law and order after the ICC announcement.

[Salva Kiir]:“My dear compatriots, fellow Sudanese, tomorrow, the Pre-Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court will deliver its decision on the accusations against President Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir. This is what the court had announced earlier. In tomorrow's expected announcement, the ICC may issue the warrant of arrest or it may throw out the case against the president. Tomorrow’s announcement may not mark the end of the ICC issue. This matter may hang on for sometime but it certainly will not mean the end of our country, the Sudan or government. We must move beyond tomorrow. And we will move beyond tomorrow. This episode should not be viewed as a crisis but as an opportunity to consolidate peace, justice and stability in our country. In order to move beyond tomorrow, we must continue to assure the security and safety of every citizen and resident in Sudan. I trust that our armed forces and law enforcement agencies shall respect the basic right of the people, maintain law and order and abide by the constitution. We in the presidency have reached a conclusion that all the foreign missions in Sudan, the embassies, all UN agencies, the peacekeepers, and any foreigners in Sudan will be protected. Nobody will be allowed to enter into the embassies”.

Kiir called on citizens to exercise calm and restraint, saying that the SPLM will work with its partners in the National Congress Party to study the political and diplomatic consequences of the court’s decision.

Charles Haskins
News Programming Advisor
Sudan Radio Service (SRS)
a project of Education Development Center
T: +254 715 05 2924 or +254 (20) 387 0906
F: +254 (20) 387 6520

Listen to SRS on the radio or on the web at


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