SUDAN WATCH: Sudan: AU statement re ICC genocide decision - Darfur peace talks in Doha suspended indefinitely

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sudan: AU statement re ICC genocide decision - Darfur peace talks in Doha suspended indefinitely

THE African Union (AU), once again, urges the United Nations Security Council to assume its responsibilities and act on the call for the deferral of the process initiated by the ICC against President Omar Hassan Al Bashir in the interest of peace, justice.

I say, people have not done enough learning about Sudan if by now they do not agree with the above or understand and share the African Union's conviction (see communiqué below) that the new and untimely decision by the ICC and its action in general on Sudan are counterproductive, and will complicate the ongoing efforts and increase the risk of instability, with far-reaching consequences for Sudan, the region and Africa as a whole.

Sad to note yesterday's news report (see below) from SRS: "Doha talks suspended indefinitely". However, according to SRS and Voice of America News reports on Thursday (see copy below), a leading member of the Darfur-based Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) says his rebel group will soon send a delegation to hold consultations with southern Sudan’s President Salva Kiir but it is not clear if the NCP will accept Mr Kiir’s mediation.

Quotes of the Day
"The Chairperson of the [African Union] Commission notes that neither the United Nations International Commission of Inquiry, nor the former AU Mission in Sudan (AMIS) and the AU/UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) upheld the accusation of genocide in Darfur." Source: AU communiqué, 16 July 2010 (see copy below)
“Peace must not be held hostage to a group or movement or one party. Peace efforts must continue." Source: A negotiator for the LJM, Taj eldin Niam, 14 July 2010 (see SRS report below "Doha talks suspended indefinitely")
AUC's concern over genocide decision
  • The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU) expresses deep concern about the new decision of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Pre-Trial Chamber I on Sudan and its impact on the ongoing peace processes in Sudan.
  • The AU is of the conviction that this new and untimely decision by the ICC and its action in general on Sudan are counterproductive, and will complicate the ongoing efforts and increase the risk of instability, with far-reaching consequences for Sudan, the region and Africa as a whole.
  • The Chairperson of the AU Commission discussed with the President of the ICC bilateral co-operation.
Source: Two communiqués issued by the AU today (16 July) - see copy below.

Communiqué
From the African Union
Addis Ababa - Friday, 16 July 2010:
The Chairperson of the Commission expresses deep concern about the new decision of the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I on Sudan and its impact on the ongoing peace processes in Sudan

The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU) has learned of the decision of Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which, following an application by the ICC Prosecutor, issued a second warrant of arrest against the Sudanese President Omer Hassan Al-Bashir, on charges of genocide.

This decision, which confirms AUJs previous concerns, came at a particular time marked by progress in the democratic transformation of the Sudan, following the April 2010 general elections, and renewed efforts towards the completion of the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), including the holding of the self-determination referendum in South Sudan and negotiations on post-referendum arrangements, as well as towards the search for a lasting and inclusive political solution to the crisis in Darfur.

The decision also comes at a time when the AU, through the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), is carrying out consultations with the Government of Sudan and other stakeholders on how best to proceed with the implementation of the recommendations put forward by the AU High-Level Panel on Darfur (ALIPD) on justice, reconciliation and healing. These efforts are informed by the AUJs commitment to fighting impunity, in line with its Constitutive Act and other relevant instruments.

The Chairperson of the Commission notes that neither the United Nations International Commission of Inquiry, nor the former AU Mission in Sudan (AMIS) and the AU/UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) upheld the accusation of genocide in Darfur.

The AU is of the conviction that this new and untimely decision by the ICC and its action in general on Sudan are counterproductive, and will complicate the ongoing efforts and increase the risk of instability, with far-reaching consequences for Sudan, the region and Africa as a whole.

It is against this background that the AU, once again, urges the United Nations Security Council to assume its responsibilities and act on the call for the deferral of the process initiated by the ICC against President Omar Hassan Al Bashir in the interest of peace, justice.
Communiqué
From the African Union
Addis Ababa - Friday, 16 July 2010:
The Chairperson of the Commission Discussed with the President of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Bilateral Cooperation

During a recent visit to Addis Ababa, the President of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Judge Sang Hyun Song was received by the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union, H.E. Dr. Jean Ping.

The two parties exchanged views on ways and means to strengthen cooperation between their respective institutions on the basis of their common value of ending impunity and bring about lasting peace.

In this context, the Chairperson expressed readiness to explore the possibility of establishing an ICC Liaison Office in Addis Ababa, proposal made by the President of the Court during this meeting.
Source: African Union
P. O. Box 3243 Addis Ababa, ETHIOPIA
Telephone (251-11) 551 77 00 Fax (251-11) 551 93 21
E-mail: situationroom@africa-union.org, oau-ews@ethionet.et

Hat tip: Making Sense of Sudan, Friday, 16 July 2010 - What Is the Position of the AU on the ICC?
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News from SRS - Sudan Radio Service

Thursday, 15 July 2010

  • 15 July 2010 - (Doha) – The peace talks between the government of the Sudan and the Liberation and Justice Movement or LJM in Doha is suspended until further notice.

    The government’s head of delegation, Omer Adam Rahama, spoke to Sudan Radio Service from Al-Doha on Wednesday.

    [Omer Adam Rahama]: “Now the negotiation will stop for a certain period, I can’t say until when but it will stop and the objective is to give a chance to those not attending the talks to attend the negotiations. This is to give a chance to mediators and the international community to communicate with the groups who have not participated - particularly the Justice and Equality Movement and Abdulwahid and others so they can join the peace process.”

    A negotiator for the LJM, Taj eldin Niam, suggested that the peace talks continue.

    [Taj eldin Niam]: “Peace must not be held hostage to a group or movement or one party. Peace efforts must continue. But negotiation could be stopped for a temporary period for more consultations. We are not against that. The LJM suggested to the mediators to communicate with Abdulwahid and Khalil to commit and move to Al-Doha. So we don’t have any objection if mediators suspended the negotiation. We can go to the field and other places to disseminate awareness and communicate with refugees and the displaced. We don’t object, the moment they come, we will continue."

    Speaking to Sudan Radio Service from Cairo, JEM official Mansour Arbab Younis said they will not participate in the Doha talks even if it is delayed.

    [Mansour Arbab Younis]: “The movement will not participate in a chaotic forum, an unjust forum like Doha. The government, mediators and the host country are just making public relations in order to prolong the talks, but the movement is now seriously looking for an alternative forum. We may have arrived at a decision and a new forum could be announced soon.”

    Mansour Arbab Younis was speaking to Sudan Radio Service from Cairo on Thursday.

  • 15 July 2010 - (Khartoum) – The first Vice President and the President of the Government of Southern Sudan Salva Kiir will mediate in attempt to convince the two major Darfur anti-government groups to join peace talks with the government.

    The SPLM deputy secretary general -northern sector, Yasir Arman made the statement during a press conference in Khartoum on Wednesday.

    He said that Salva’s move follows an appeal by the AU-UN joint mediator Djibril Bassoli.

    [Yasir Arman]: “ The First Vice President, the President of the Government of Southern Sudan and the Chairman of the SPLM has received an appeal from Djibril Bassole, the chief mediator of the African Union and United Nations for Darfur, and the chairman of the SPLM decided that the SPLM is going to be fully involved in bringing peace to Darfur, and that he is going to contact Doctor Khalil Ibrahim, the leader of the Justice and Equality Movement and Abdulwahid Mohammed Nur, the leader of the Sudan Liberation Movement and to ask them to send delegations to Juba and that he personally and the SPLM would be involved in trying to strengthen the search for a comprehensive and a just peace in Darfur.”

    The Darfur anti-government group, the Justice and Equality Movement, has welcomed the SPLM’s initiative.

    A senior JEM official, Mansour Arbab Younis, spoke to SRS on Thursday from Cairo.

    [Mansour Arbab Younis]: “Regarding the communication between comrade Salva and the leader of JEM, Dr. Khalil Ibrahim, we think that it is a good move. We will accept the efforts of the SPLM chairman, brother Salva Kiir, and soon the two leaders will meet. We are welcoming this expected meeting.”

    Earlier, the SPLM said that it will distance itself from engaging in Darfur peace talks, accusing the NCP of neglecting the SPLM views and dictating their own vision to solve the conflict.

    JEM suspended talks with the government in May claiming that the government had violated the ceasefire agreement signed between the two parties in February, while Abdulwahid has refused to engage in any peace talks with the government.

    However on Tuesday, Qatar officials and the joint mediation team have decided to suspend the Doha talks between the government and the Liberation Movement for Justice talks.

    The mediators say that in order to reach a comprehensive peace agreement, all parties in Darfur should be involved.


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Sudan Rebel Group Welcomes Salva Kiir's Mediation Role


Voice of America - Peter Clottey - Thursday, 15 July 2010:
A leading member of the Darfur-based Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) says his rebel group will soon send a powerful delegation to hold consultations with south Sudan’s President Salva Kiir.

JEM’s spokesman Ahmed Aden welcomed Mr. Kiir’s decision to act as mediator for an upcoming peace talks between his group, President Omar Hassan al-Bashir’s dominant National Congress Party (NCP), and the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) as well as other Darfur-based rebel groups.

“We welcome it, and I think that President Salva Kiir is in a good position to have [a] successful initiative in this because he has good relations with all the others and all the conflicting parties. We hope that the NCP [will] be wise enough and to have a positive reaction and a positive move to also welcome this move,” he said.

It is however not clear if the NCP will accept Mr. Kiir’s mediation.

Early this year, JEM withdrew from talks with President Bashir’s government after accusing the administration of attacking its positions in Darfur’s western region in the midst of negotiations.

JEM’s chief negotiator Ahmed Tugod said his group was “freezing the talks to protest the government’s cease-fire violation including airstrikes and attacks by ground troops”.

The rebel group also announced its refusal to abide by two previous agreements it signed with the government.

The government is currently holding talks with Justice and Liberty Movement, another Darfur-based rebel group in Qatar’s capital, Doha. The talks are aimed at reaching a peace deal by mid-July.

But, JEM’s spokesman Aden said there would not be peace in Darfur without the full participation of his group.

“There is a deadlock now in Doha. Doha failed completely to help the conflicting parties to reach any kind of agreement. The humanitarian situation on the ground is worsening every day. The NCP and the regime in Khartoum want to [impede] some of the aid workers and make a lot of restrictions on the ground, harassing the IDP’s [internally Displaced People]. So, the situation is very bad… as in 2004 and 2005,” Aden said.

Salva Kiir, who doubles as Sudan’s first vice president, decided to take a personal role in resolving the ongoing Darfur conflict after Djibril Bassole, the joint U.N./African Union mediator asked him to help resolve the crisis.

Mr. Kiir is expected to persuade the rebel groups to join another round of peace talks to resolve the Darfur crisis.

Aden said only a political solution could help resolve the Darfur crisis.

“I think that President Salva Kiir has the ability to help the conflicting parties so that we can find exit strategies to the stalemate and to the deadlock which we are having right now in Darfur and in Sudan in general,” Aden said.

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