SUDAN WATCH: AU panel dismiss false media reports

Sunday, July 12, 2009

AU panel dismiss false media reports

The African Union Panel on Darfur is expected to hand over its report to the AU in September 2009.

From BuaNews
AU panel dismiss false media reports
Compiled by the Government Communication and Information System
Date: 12 Jul 2009
Title: AU panel dismiss false media reports
By Chris Bathembu
Pretoria - The African Union High Level Panel on Darfur (AUPD) has dismissed media reports claiming former President Thabo Mbeki has called on the three Sudanese personalities, including President Omer Hassan Al-Bashir to present themselves before the International Criminal Court to stand trial.

Mr Mbeki is the chairperson of AUPD.

"This report is completely false and highly irresponsible. No member of the Panel has made any such pronouncement.

"Indeed, no member of the Panel could make any such pronouncement as the Panel has not yet completed its work," AUPD spokesperson Barney Afako said.

Speaking at a press conference held at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa on Friday, Mr Afako said that Mr Mbeki was asked about the Panel's position on the ICC arrest warrant against President Bashir.

"Mr Mbeki indicated that the Panel operated on the basis that the ICC warrant "is a given". He, however, acknowledged that some of the interested parties with whom the Panel has met had called for ICC trials.

The Panel was established to address the issues of peace, reconciliation and justice in Darfur.

These issues were fundamental to resolving the crisis of Sudan as manifested in Darfur.

"The search for peace, reconciliation and justice for Darfur is broader than the ICC process. In this connection, the ICC Prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo, reiterated his support for the Panel's work when he met with the Panel this week in Addis Ababa," added Mr Afako.

He said the Panel has previously met with the Government of Sudan, representatives of some of the armed opposition movements, political parties, civil society representatives, internally displaced people, refugees, tribal leaders, Native Authorities of Darfur.

It has also met with some of Sudan's neighbouring countries, representatives of other foreign governments and institutions, amongst others.

It is expected to hand over its report to the AU in September. - BuaNews

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