SUDAN WATCH: Ocampo announces ICC's verdict before indictment - Darfur peace talks progress in Doha - Libya will rein in JEM leader - Sudan's Bashir visits Chad

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ocampo announces ICC's verdict before indictment - Darfur peace talks progress in Doha - Libya will rein in JEM leader - Sudan's Bashir visits Chad

Quotes of the Day
"According to my understanding of the decision, the [International Criminal] Court did not find [Sudanese] President Bashir guilty of these crimes. Rather, it considered that there were reasonable grounds to suppose that he might be guilty. This is an important distinction. While the Prosecutor will argue, in court and in public, that Bashir is guilty, I am surprised that he is announcing a verdict of the Court before there has been an indictment (so far we have an arrest warrant — any indictment will follow a confirmation of charges hearing) let alone a trial." - Dr. Alex de Waal OBE, Making Sense of Sudan, 18 July 2010

“The absence of both the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Movement of Abdel Wahid at the negotiation table and the ongoing fighting in Darfur are putting at risk the chances for a definitive and stable peace.” - Joint UN-AU mediator Djibril Bassolé, 20 July 2010

"Everything that went on between Chad and Sudan was an accident. We regret it enormously. Now we have turned the page. We are working together for the interest of our two nations." - Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir (Ref: CRIENGLISH.com 22 July 2010 - Sudanese President al-Bashir on 1st Visit abroad since Genocide Warrant)

Source: further details below.
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Joint UN-African Union mediator reports progress in Darfur peace talks
Report from UN News Centre - Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - excerpt:
The negotiations taking place in Doha aimed at bringing an end to the conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan are making good progress, according to the joint United Nations-African Union mediator.
Djibril Bassolé said the talks between the Government of Sudan and some rebel groups are “advancing well” and noted the inclusive nature of the peace process, with Darfur civil society, including internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees, participating actively and constructively.

At the same time, he noted that the main Darfur rebel groups are not participating in the talks in the Qatari capital.

“The absence of both the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Movement of Abdel Wahid at the negotiation table and the ongoing fighting in Darfur are putting at risk the chances for a definitive and stable peace,” Mr. Bassolé said in a statement issued to the press yesterday after meeting in Juba with Sudan’s First Vice President, Salva Kiir Mayardit.

The mediator said he encouraged Mr. Kiir to help bring all remaining rebel groups to the talks.

He added that ongoing fighting in Darfur is putting at risk the chances for a definitive and stable peace, echoing what Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated in his latest report on the joint African Union-UN mission in Darfur, known as UNAMID.

Mr. Ban noted that violence flared between Sudanese Government forces and JEM in May, in breach of a cessation of hostilities agreement signed earlier this year, making May the deadliest month since the establishment of UNAMID in 2007.

He urged the Government and JEM to immediately cease their ongoing military confrontations and commit to the peace process, stating that the rebel group’s withdrawal from the Doha talks has undermined the goal of a rapid resolution of the conflict. [...]
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Wanted Sudan's Bashir arrives in Chad
From Reuters - Wednesday, 21 July 2010
(Reporting by Moumine Ngarmbassa; writing by David Lewis)
N'DJAMENA - Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir arrived in Chad Wednesday, the first time he has visited a full member of the global court demanding his arrest for war crimes and genocide.

A Reuters witness saw Bashir exit the plane and be welcomed by Chadian President Idriss Deby.

Sudanese officials have said they are confident Deby would not turn Bashir over to the International Criminal Court, which accuses him of rape, torture and murder in Sudan's remote Darfur region.
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Sudan's President Bashir defies arrest warrant in Chad
Report from BBC News - Wednesday, 21 July 2010 at 21:02 - excerpt:
Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir is visiting neighbouring Chad, in defiance of calls from the International Criminal Court (ICC) for his arrest.

The trip is the first time Mr Bashir has set foot on the soil of a court member since the ICC called for his arrest on war crimes charges in 2009.

Chadian officials said Mr Bashir, who denies the charges, would not be arrested.

Chad and Sudan have often clashed bitterly over the Darfur conflict.

According to the rules of the ICC, which has no police force and relies on member states to make arrests, Chadian forces are required to arrest Mr Bashir during his stay in the country.

Earlier this month, the ICC added genocide to the charges against Mr Bashir.

But the Sudanese president seemed more focused on improvements in relations between the two neighbours than on the possibility of his incarceration.

"Chad and Sudan had a problem in the past. Now this problem is solved. We are brothers," the Associated Press news agency reported him as saying.

During the conflict in Darfur, rebel groups based in both countries have launched attacks on their rivals from behind the sanctuary of their own borders.

Khartoum accused Chad and its President Idriss Deby of supporting anti-government rebels in Darfur.

In turn, Chad insisted that Sudan was backing rebels attempting to overthrow Mr Deby.

However, the two presidents met earlier in 2010 for the first time in six years, announcing they were ready for a full normalisation of ties.

Despite the issue of the ICC charges against Mr Bashir, the international community is pleased the two countries are now getting on, reports the BBC's East Africa correspondent Will Ross, because it potentially increases the chances of ending the long-running conflict in Darfur. [...]
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Security situation in Darfur
Report from United Nations – African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) - via APO (KHARTOUM, Sudan) - Tuesday, 20 July 2010:
Security situation in Darfur
No significant incidents were reported in the past 24 hours.

UK Special Envoy, Ambassador visit UNAMID
A British delegation led by Mr. Michael Ryder, the United Kingdom’s Special Envoy to the Sudan, and Mr. Nicholas Kay, the UK’s Ambassador to the Sudan, today met with UNAMID Joint Special Representative Ibrahim Gambari and other senior mission officials in El Fasher, North Darfur.
The one-day familiarization visit focused primarily on the political and security situation.

UNAMID patrols
UNAMID military forces conducted 101 patrols including routine, short-range, long-range, night and humanitarian escort patrols covering 85 villages and Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps.

UNAMID police advisors conducted 173 patrols in villages and IDP camps.
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Libya's Gaddafi says will rein in Sudanese rebel
Report from Reuters - Monday, 19 July 2010 6:59pm
By Hamid Ould Ahmed (Additional reporting by John Irish in Paris; Writing by Christian Lowe) :
(ALGIERS) - Libya has told a Sudanese rebel leader staying on its territory he must do nothing to jeopardise peace talks in Sudan, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi says in an interview to be broadcast later on Monday.

Gaddafi has come under pressure from Sudan's government to expel Khalil Ibrahim, leader of the Darfur region's rebel Justice and Equality Movement, given refuge in Libya in May.

"He (Ibrahim) has stayed in Libya and all our brothers in Sudan and Chad are right to be sensitive about that," Gaddafi said in an interview with the France 24 television station and radio stations RFI and Monte Carlo.

"We told him that, to serve peace and to lay down arms, it's forbidden for him to issue orders from Libya or make any comments," Gaddafi said in a recording of the interview provided to Reuters.

"There is a group fighting in Sudan and its leader is in Libya and everybody has the right to make links between the one thing and the other," Gaddafi said.

Gaddafi, who last year held the chairmanship of the African Union, also criticised attempts to try Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir at the International Criminal Court for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Countries which back the prosecution "are using international law and the United Nations to carry out official terrorism," Gaddafi said in the interview.

The Justice and Equality Movement was one of two Darfur rebel groups that took up arms against Sudan's government in 2003, accusing it of neglecting the mainly desert territory.

The group was subsequently involved in peace talks with the government in Khartoum but suspended its participation earlier this year.

Sudan has called on Libya to expel Ibrahim, and it said last month it was closing its borders with Libya, citing a need to protect people from attacks by Darfur insurgents.

Ibrahim was given refuge in Libya after Chad, which had previously allowed the rebel movement to use its territory as a base, changed its policy and refused him entry as he returned from a trip to Libya.

The dispute between Sudan and Libya could cast a shadow over the meeting of African Union heads of state, which takes place in the Ugandan capital later this month.
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Ocampo announces a verdict of the ICC before there has been an indictment

Note the following copy of a comment by Alex de Waal (posted at his blog Making Sense of Sudan in reply to commentary by Pieter Tesch entitled Prosecutor’s African Roadshow Keeps on Muddling Through) regarding an opinion piece authored by ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo (posted at guardian.co.uk "Comment is Free" Thursday, 15 July 2010 20.30 BST entitled Now end this Darfur denial):
Alex de Waal:
July 18th, 2010 at 5:40 am
Writing in The Guardian, “Comment is Free”, on 15 July, Luis Moreno Ocampo asserted, “The genocide is not over.” He went on:
“the court found that Bashir’s forces have raped on a mass scale in Darfur. … The court also found that Bashir is deliberately inflicting on the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups living conditions calculated to bring about their physical destruction. Millions of Darfuris are living in camps for displaced persons and, at the disposal of Bashir’s forces, experiencing an ongoing genocide.”

According to my understanding of the decision, the Court did not find President Bashir guilty of these crimes. Rather, it considered that there were reasonable grounds to suppose that he might be guilty. This is an important distinction. While the Prosecutor will argue, in court and in public, that Bashir is guilty, I am surprised that he is announcing a verdict of the Court before there has been an indictment (so far we have an arrest warrant — any indictment will follow a confirmation of charges hearing) let alone a trial.
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From SRS (Sudan Radio Service)
Wednesday, 21 July 2010


From The New York Times -

Headlines Around the Web

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JULY 17, 2010

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Experiencing an Ongoing Genocide

NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF: ON THE GROUND

JULY 16, 2010

The Security Council Sits on its Hands

THE GUARDIAN

JULY 15, 2010

Now end this Darfur denial

CBSNEWS.COM

JULY 15, 2010

Sudan Expels 2 Foreign Aid Workers In Darfur

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