Sunday, September 05, 2021

The International Day of Charity 5th September - Global Solidarity to Eradicate Poverty

PHOTO: ©Sadek Ahmed

From the website of the United Nations:

Global Solidarity to Eradicate Poverty

Charity, like the notions of volunteerism and philanthropy, provides real social bonding and contributes to the creation of inclusive and more resilient societies. 

Charity can alleviate the worst effects of humanitarian crises, supplement public services in health care, education, housing and child protection. It assists the advancement of culture, science, sports, and the protection of cultural and natural heritage. It also promotes the rights of the marginalised and underprivileged and spreads the message of humanity in conflict situations.

In the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development adopted in September 2015, the United Nations recognises that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. 

The Agenda also calls for a spirit of strengthened global solidarity, focused in particular on the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable. It also acknowledges the role of the diverse private sector, ranging from micro-enterprises to cooperatives to multinationals, and that of civil society organizations and philanthropic organizations in the implementation of the new Agenda.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set forth in the Agenda can be grouped into six critical areas: people, planet, prosperity, peace, and partnership. They have the potential to transform our lives and our planet by providing the framework needed for philanthropic institutions to enable all people to contribute to the betterment of our world.


The International Day of Charity was established with the objective of sensitising and mobilising people, NGOs, and stakeholders all around the world to to help others through volunteer and philanthropic activities.

The date of 5 September was chosen in order to commemorate the anniversary of the passing away of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 "for work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitute a threat to peace."

Mother Teresa, the renowned nun and missionary, was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in 1910. In 1928 she went to India, where she devoted herself to helping the destitute. In 1948 she became an Indian citizen and founded the order of Missionaries of Charity in Kolkota (Calcutta) in 1950, which became noted for its work among the poor and the dying in that city.

For over 45 years she ministered to the poor, sick, orphaned and dying, while guiding the Missionaries of Charity’s expansion, first in India and then in other countries, including hospices and homes for the poorest and homeless. Mother Teresa’s work has been recognized and acclaimed throughout the world and she has received a number of awards and distinctions, including the Nobel Peace Prize. Mother Teresa died on September 5th 1997, at 87 years of age.

In recognition of the role of charity in alleviating humanitarian crises and human suffering within and among nations, as well as of the efforts of charitable organisations and individuals, including the work of Mother Teresa, the General Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution A/RES/67/105 designated the 5th of September, the anniversary of the death of Mother Teresa, as the International Day of Charity.


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Wednesday, September 01, 2021

UN is committed to staying in Afghanistan

Here is a full copy of a transcript of yesterday’s noon press briefing by the UN chief’s Spokesman, Mr Stéphane Dujarric, published at the website of the United Nations (UN), confirming that the UN is committed to staying in Afghanistan where, according to the UN's chief, Mr António Guterres, "a humanitarian catastrophe looms".  Note that the UN has been in Afghanistan for over 60 years and will remain in Afghanistan, standing shoulder to shoulder with the people of Afghanistan. At least 45 per cent of the Afghan population is below the age of 15.  Also, yesterday (31st Aug) was the first International Day for People of African Descent.


Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

The following is a near-verbatim transcript of today’s noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General.

Good afternoon.


Just a quick humanitarian update.  Our humanitarian colleagues in Afghanistan tell us that that, today, while the armies have left, the UN is committed to staying in the country.  Operations to supply medical and humanitarian goods, as well as to support in other materials are continuing, but more resources are needed.  Our colleagues have already delivered humanitarian aid to 8 million people since the start of the year.  The current funding appeal for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs is $1.3 billion, is only 39 per cent funded up to now, and we may have new appeals coming up.


In a joint statement, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Virginia Gamba and the Special Representative on Violence against Children, Najat Maalla M’jid, today called on the Taliban and other parties in Afghanistan to respect the dignity and human rights of all Afghans, including boys and girls.  They noted that at least 45 per cent of the Afghan population is below the age of 15, and that the international community must not abandon the children of that country.  The two UN officials strongly condemn the horrific and deadly attack against Kabul airport in which children have reportedly been killed and maimed.  They are particularly concerned about the rights of girls, including sexual and gender-based violence, as well as their right to education.  Ms. Gamba and Ms. Maalla M’jid said that the children of Afghanistan have suffered enough.  They stressed that protecting the rights of all Afghans, including the rights of children is the only sustainable solution to peace.

**International Day for People of African Descent

Today is the first International Day of People of African Descent.  In his message, the Secretary-General said that this day is a celebration of the enormous contributions of people of African descent to every field of human endeavour.  He added it is also a long‑overdue recognition of the profound injustices and systematic discrimination that people of African descent have endured for centuries, and continue to confront today.  Twenty years after the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, the Secretary-General said we are experiencing unprecedented momentum towards ending the global scourge of racism.  We must not squander this opportunity.  This international day is an urgent call for action for everyone, everywhere, to commit to rooting out the evil of racism.  The full message is online.

**Guest Tomorrow

Tomorrow, you will be glad to know that we will be joined by the UN’s Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Afghanistan, Ramiz Alakbarov who will brief you from Kabul, on the current situation in the country.  We will start off the briefing with him.  And then, you will have the pleasure to question Florencia, who will be sitting in for me tomorrow.  And at 2 p.m., there will be a briefing in this room by Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason, the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Ireland, who will lead the Security Council during the nicest month in New York, that is September, and also the busiest at the United Nations.  On that note, Edie.

**Questions and Answers

Question:  Thank you very much, Steph.  A couple of questions on Afghanistan.  On this first day of Taliban rule in Afghanistan, what is the Secretary‑General's message to the Taliban?  And could you give us some specific details of what the UN is actually doing today on the ground?

Spokesman:  Well, I spoke a short while ago with one of our colleagues in Kabul.  She had mentioned that we're continuing to support humanitarian operations in most parts of the country.  There was an Assessment Mission, I think, that went out today in Kabul.  We are concerned with the internally displaced situation and, obviously, the disruption of our pipeline of humanitarian goods.  I don't think you were here yesterday, but you must have seen we there was a plane from WHO [World Health Organization] which landed in Mazar.  The UNHAS World Food Service Programme has also been able to resume, though not in Kabul.  So, for us, the day after is just another day in Kabul.  We've been present in Afghanistan for over 60 years, and we are remaining and standing shoulder to shoulder with the Afghan people.  The Secretary‑General's message to the Taliban, I think, is something he's said before, which is what he would like to see and he hopes the international community would like to see is the formation of an inclusive government, full respect for human rights, for Afghanistan's human rights obligations, especially when it comes to women, and to ensure that the hard‑won gains of especially the last two decades do not evaporate and ensuring that Afghanistan is not used as a base for terrorism.  Yes?

Question:  Thanks, Stéphane.  Following up on Afghanistan, is the UN talking to the Taliban about using the airport to get supplies into Kabul?  Any discussions started there?  And any feedback or readout of the Secretary‑General's meeting with Security Council members yesterday afternoon?  Can you tell us what they discussed?

Spokesman:  Yes.  So, the SG had quite a lengthy meeting with the representatives of the five permanent members of the Security Council.  He met with them at the residence.  I mean, he told me that the atmosphere was pleasant and constructive.  This is part of his ongoing efforts of good offices to try to get unity within the Security Council, to also get a convergence of the different approaches of the international community on the situation in Afghanistan.  The meeting yesterday was part of the intensive diplomatic contacts he's had since the beginning of this phase of the crisis.

Question:  [Inaudible]?

Spokesman:  The airport, I'm not aware of any direct discussions that we're having with the Taliban on the airport.  I know it's something that ICAO [International Civil Aviation Organization], obviously, our colleagues in Montreal, are following closely through their regional office.  We've been able to use other airports in Afghanistan.  Obviously, as soon as it meets safety standards that are recognised by the international community, we would like to see the airport.  Obviously, a critical part of that are really the people who operate the planes and who insure the planes, feel that there is a level of service, of security that the aircrafts can go in and out of Kabul airport.  Yep, and then we'll go to Alan.

Question:  I'm Yuki Sugimoto from NHK, and my question is, will UN support… such as providing documents and airplanes for Afghan people who want to escape from their country, or will UN respect Taliban's decision on requesting Afghan people to stay?

Spokesman:  I think it's very important that people in any country have the right to choose whether they want to stay or whether they want to leave.  Our concern is about a massive flow of people trying to leave Afghanistan who are fleeing persecution, who may be fleeing violence.  And it is important that, in the immediate phase, the neighbouring countries open up their doors.  We do not want to see any refoulement, to use a refugee law term.  People who are refugees who are seeking safety have a right to be granted protection.  But, it's also, I think, important to note that the global responsibility towards Afghan refugees is not limited to those countries which happen to be bordering Afghanistan.  It will need a global show of solidarity.  Mr. Bulkaty.

Question:  Thank you.  I appreciate it, Stéphane.  Yesterday, the US command announced finally that the troops of the country have withdrawn from Afghanistan.  Any assessment from your part on this milestone?  How do you assess the mission that the US and the allies were conducting during all these 20 years?

Spokesman:  Look, I will leave the historical analyses to historians and analysts.  I think, for us, others may have left for whatever reasons.  The UN is remaining in Afghanistan, has been in Afghanistan for over 60 years, will remain in Afghanistan, standing shoulder to shoulder with the people of Afghanistan.  I think it is very important moving forward that the gains that we have seen in human rights in Afghanistan, especially over the last 20 years, especially when it comes to women, to girls, to their access to education, to medical care, to the jobs market, not be lost.  Okay.  Let's go to the screen.  Okay.  I don't see or hear anybody on the screen.  I see Philippe.  Welcome back.  But, otherwise, I will not be here tomorrow.  Florencia will be answering your questions.  And as I mentioned, we'll have Ramiz brief you from Kabul at the top, and that's part of our continuing efforts to get some voices from the field as opposed to here.  Cheers.



For information media. Not an official record.


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UN chief on Afghanistan: "A humanitarian catastrophe looms"

Here is a full copy of a statement issued yesterday (31 Aug) by the head of the United Nations, Mr António Guterres, in a Press Release published at the website of the UN, calling for help on a looming humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. Note that:  almost half of the population of Afghanistan - 18 million people - need humanitarian assistance to survive.  One in three Afghans do not know where their next meal will come from.  More than half of all children under five are expected to become acutely malnourished in the next year.  People are losing access to basic goods and services every day.  A humanitarian catastrophe looms.






Secretary-General Calls on Governments to Provide Timely, Flexible Funding for Afghanistan’s People in ‘Darkest Hour of Need’ as Humanitarian Crisis Looms

The following statement by Secretary-General António Guterres was issued today:

On the day Afghanistan enters a new phase, I want to express my grave concern at the deepening humanitarian and economic crisis in the country and the threat of basic services collapsing completely.

Today, almost half of the population of Afghanistan — 18 million people — need humanitarian assistance to survive.  One in three Afghans do not know where their next meal will come from.  More than half of all children under five are expected to become acutely malnourished in the next year.  People are losing access to basic goods and services every day.  A humanitarian catastrophe looms.

Now more than ever, Afghan children, women and men need the support and solidarity of the international community.  The humanitarian system’s commitment to stay and deliver will not waver.  Already this year, we have delivered aid to 8 million people.  In the last fortnight, we delivered food to 80,000 people and relief packages to thousands of displaced families. Yesterday, we airlifted 12.5 metric tons of medical supplies into the country.

Amid a severe drought and with harsh winter conditions on the horizon, extra food, shelter and health supplies must be urgently fast-tracked into the country.  I call on all parties to facilitate safe and unimpeded humanitarian access for life-saving and life-sustaining supplies, as well as for all humanitarian workers — men and women.

Next week, we will release details of the most immediate humanitarian needs and funding requirements over the next four months in a flash appeal for Afghanistan.  Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths is coordinating the entire United Nations system in the preparation of the appeal.

I urge all Member States to dig deep for the people of Afghanistan in their darkest hour of need.  I urge them to provide timely, flexible and comprehensive funding.  I urge them to help ensure humanitarian workers have the funding, access, and legal safeguards they need to stay and deliver.


For information media. Not an official record.


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Tuesday, August 31, 2021

UN Security Council Adopts Resolution 2593 (2021)



Adopting Resolution 2593 (2021), Security Council Condemns Deadly Attacks in Afghanistan, Calls for Combating Terrorism, Upholding Human Rights

The Security Council today strongly condemned attacks that took place near Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on 26 August, which resulted in deaths and injuries to over 300 civilians and 28 military personnel.

By terms of resolution 2593 (2021), adopted by a vote of 13 in favour with two abstentions (Russian Federation and China), the 15-member organ demanded that Afghan territory not be used to threaten or attack any country and reiterated the importance of combating terrorism in Afghanistan.

By other terms, it called for enhanced efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan and called on all parties to allow safe, unhindered access for the United Nations and its agencies, including with respect to internally displaced persons.  Further by its terms, it called on all donors and international humanitarian actors to provide humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan and major Afghan refugee-hosting countries.  It went on to reaffirm the importance of upholding human rights, including those of women, children and minorities, and encouraged all parties to seek an inclusive, negotiated political settlement, with the full, equal and meaningful participation of women.

In addition, it noted the Taliban statement of 27 August, in which the Taliban committed that Afghans will be able to travel abroad, leave Afghanistan anytime they want to, and may exit the country via any border crossing.  By other terms, it noted the dangerous security situation around Hamid Karzai International Airport and called on the relevant parties to work with international partners to take steps to strengthen security and to prevent further casualties.

The representative of the United States said the resolution establishes clear expectations.  First, the Council expects the Taliban to live up to its commitment to allow Afghans the right to leave the country.  As of the morning of 30 August, more than 122,000 individuals have been evacuated since the end of July.  Allies and partners around the world have contributed to the airlift and acted as host countries, she said.  Second, the resolution signals the Security Council’s enduring commitment to those who remain in Afghanistan and insists that humanitarian actors be given full, safe access to deliver aid.  Needs in the coming months will be vast, she warned, with an estimated 500,000 internally displaced persons and 14 million people at risk of starvation in the country.  She went on to reiterate in strong terms the need to continue to combat terrorism in the country and said the international community must remain united and resolute as Afghanistan enters a new chapter.

The representative of France expressed regret that the adoption wasn’t unanimous.  Now, the text needs to be implemented on the ground, she stressed.  As the situation continues to deteriorate, the resolution calls on everyone to make all efforts to secure the airport and surrounding areas to ensure people can leave and humanitarian assistance can arrive.  Underscoring the importance to fight terrorism within the country with the help of the Taliban, she said the achievements of the last 20 years must be preserved.  In addition, her delegation reiterated its expectations for the establishment of a transitional government that will meet the needs for all people.

The representative of the United Kingdom said the Council had made their expectations of the Taliban clear through the resolution.  Afghanistan can never again become a haven for terrorists, she continued, stressing that a coordinated approach will be vital to counter any extremist threat in the country.  The humanitarian situation requires urgent attention, and the gains of the last 20 years, including on the human rights front, must be safeguarded.  The resolution lays down a marker that the international community will be watching closely, she said.

The representative of Ireland said her country voted in favour of the resolution because it is important to hear the Council’s voice at this time.  The focus in the text on ensuring full and unhindered access to aid is vitally important, as well as the upholding of human rights and the importance of including the voice of women in any negotiated agreements.  Indeed, her delegation would have preferred stronger language on that front.  The Taliban will be judged by its actions and not by its words, she said, urging that any Afghans who want to leave the country must be allowed to do so.

The representative of the Russian Federation condemned the terrorist attacks at the Kabul airport and said that his country abstained from the vote because the authors of the draft ignored his delegation’s concerns, referring to their refusal to add an additional passage on terrorism and their reluctance to acknowledge the terrorist threat of other groups, instead separating them into “ours and theirs”.  The draft also did not acknowledge the negative impacts of evacuating valuable economists and other skilled individuals who will be important for the rebuilding of Afghanistan.  Moreover, there was no reference to the harmful influence of freezing economic assets in Afghanistan and the negative impact that it has on the people remaining there.  Had there been more time, the result of the vote may have been different.  However, his delegation viewed the text as an effort to shift the blame from the 20 years of failed presence in Afghanistan to the Taliban and not the countries that occupied the country for so long.

The representative of Estonia said the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating and United Nations agencies need unimpeded and safe access, which requires a safe and functioning airport.  She also stressed the importance of adherence to international standards on human rights, especially as it pertains to women and girls.

The representative of China said that, given the fragile situation in Afghanistan, any actions taken by the Security Council should help ease rather than intensify tensions in the conflict.  The authors of the draft only circulated it on 27 August and China has doubts about the urgency to pass the resolution and the balance of its contents, he said.  Unfortunately, its amendments were not fully adopted.  The recent chaos in Afghanistan is a direct result of the hasty withdrawal of troops there and now should be a time of reflection, he stressed.  Relevant countries should change their hegemonic practice of imposing sanctions and using force at every turn.  Furthermore, those countries should not claim to support social and economic development while seizing Afghans overseas assets.  Criminal activities by the United States and Australia in the killing of innocent civilians should not be ignored either.  To achieve fundamental changes, it is vital to work with the Taliban and provide them with guidance in order to help maintain stability.  Condemning the terrorist attack in Kabul, he said it demonstrates the occupation of the country over the last 20 years did nothing to eliminate such groups.  On the issue of counter-terrorism, there must be a balanced approach, he said.

The meeting began at 3:10 p.m. and ended at 3:42 p.m.


For information media. Not an official record.


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Monday, August 30, 2021

UNSC Afghanistan: Vote on Resolution on Recent Developments

When the UN Security Council approaches the final stage of negotiating a draft resolution, the text is printed in blue. What's In Blue is a series of insights on evolving Security Council actions designed to help interested UN readers keep up with what might soon be "in blue".  

Here is a copy in full from What's In Blue Monday 30 August 2021 entitled 'Afghanistan: Vote on Resolution on Recent Developments':

This afternoon (30 August), the Security Council is expected to vote on a draft resolution regarding recent developments in Afghanistan. France, the UK and the US proposed the resolution and circulated a first draft to the Council on 27 August. Council members exchanged written comments on 28 August, and a draft of the resolution was then placed under silence until yesterday (29 August) morning. Silence was broken by China and Russia. Following further negotiations among the permanent members of the Council, an amended draft was put in blue by the US last night (29 August).

The negotiations on the draft text in blue were informed by recent momentous events in Afghanistan. The Taliban entered Kabul and took power on 15 August, following a military offensive that swiftly gained momentum in the aftermath of the US government’s announcement that it would begin withdrawing troops on 1 May. Reports of serious violations of international humanitarian law and human rights, particularly against women and girls, were reported during the Taliban’s offensive. In the second half of August, tens of thousands of Afghan nationals and foreign citizens have been evacuated from the country through Kabul airport, and the US has declared that it will finalise its evacuation from Afghanistan by 31 August. On 26 August, two suicide bombers affiliated with the Islamic State in Khorasan Province (IS-KP) detonated explosives outside Kabul airport, killing 170 people, including scores of Afghan civilians and 13 US soldiers, and wounding at least 200 others.

The draft resolution in blue condemns the 26 August attack near Kabul airport and demands that Afghan territory not be used to attack any country or shelter terrorists. It asks for strengthened efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan and calls on all parties to allow unhindered access for humanitarian actors. In relation to the evacuations from Afghanistan, it notes the Taliban’s 27 August statement in which it committed to allowing Afghans to travel abroad via any border crossing, including at Kabul airport. The draft references the dangerous security situation around Kabul airport and expresses concern regarding intelligence which indicates further terrorist attacks may take place nearby. It also calls on relevant parties to work with international partners to strengthen security near Kabul airport and requests that every effort be made to allow for its rapid and secure reopening. The draft in blue further underlines that all parties must respect their obligations under international humanitarian law, reaffirms the importance of upholding human rights, and calls on the parties to seek a negotiated political settlement.

China and Russia broke silence yesterday (29 August) on an earlier iteration of the text and expressed concerns that the draft focused too closely on the Taliban. It seems that these concerns were addressed by removing language that expressed the Council’s intent to monitor the Taliban’s actions, particularly their respect for human rights. A reference to the Taliban’s condemnation of the 26 August attack near Kabul airport was added to the draft. It appears that language which noted that the Taliban will be held accountable for their commitments regarding Afghans travelling abroad and language that called on the Taliban to refrain from further activities that threaten the peace, stability, and security of Afghanistan was also not retained in the draft resolution in blue.

An operative paragraph regarding humanitarian assistance apparently originally demanded that the Taliban allow unhindered access. However, the reference to the Taliban was removed from the draft in blue, which instead calls on “all parties” to do so. Text which specifically demanded that neither the Taliban nor any other Afghan group support terrorists was not retained and was replaced with language which notes the Taliban’s “relevant commitments” and reiterates the importance of combating terrorism in Afghanistan, including the individuals and entities designated pursuant to resolution 1267 of October 1999. It seems that Russia also sought to add text which emphasised that all parties should contribute to the security situation at the airport. Language to this effect was ultimately included in the draft in blue.

On 29 August, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that France, Germany, and the UK were working on a proposal that would establish a safe zone in Kabul and that a resolution to this effect would be tabled at a meeting today (30 August). According to media reports, the proposed safe zone would allow safe passage for those trying to leave Afghanistan. The draft in blue does not explicitly refer to such a safe zone and, at the time of writing, it is unclear whether a further resolution establishing a safe zone will be proposed.

Tags: Afghanistan, Insights on Asia

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Tuesday, June 08, 2021

Briefing: ICC Sudan

UN Security Council Report 
A new story has been published in What's in Blue on: 
Briefing: ICC Sudan 
Dated Tuesday 8 June 2021 

Tomorrow (9 June), the Security Council will convene in person to receive the semi-annual briefing of the ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, related to the Court’s work on Darfur. Bensouda, who will participate via videoconference, will provide her final briefing to the Council, as her nine-year term as ICC Prosecutor ends on 15 June. (On 12 February, Karim Asad Ahmad Khan, who most recently served as the Special Adviser and head of the UN Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/ISIL (UNITAD), was elected to succeed her.) 

Sudan is not a state party to the Rome Statute of the ICC. The Security Council referred the situation in Darfur, Sudan, to the ICC in resolution 1593, adopted on 31 March 2005. (Algeria, Brazil, China, and the US abstained on the resolution.) The Council invited the ICC Prosecutor to update it every six months on actions taken pursuant to resolution 1593. The investigations regarding Darfur focus on allegations of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Darfur since 1 July 2002. 

During her briefing tomorrow, Bensouda is likely to update Council members on the status of the suspects in the Darfur situation. Following the surrender and transfer to the Court of Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman (also known as Ali Kushayb) in June 2020, four ICC arrest warrants remain outstanding against former President Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir, Ahmad Muhammad Harun, Abdel Raheem Muhammad Hussein, and Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain. Since July 2020, Al Bashir has been on trial in Sudan for charges relating to the 1989 military coup that brought him to power, including for allegedly undermining the constitutional order and the use of military force to commit crimes. Haroun and Hussein have been under arrest in Khartoum since April 2019, while Banda remains a fugitive from the Court and his whereabouts are unknown. The Office of the Prosecutor is in an ongoing dialogue with the government of Sudan aimed at ensuring accountability for the ICC suspects and justice for the victims in Darfur. Sudan remains under an obligation to surrender the four remaining suspects in the Darfur situation to the Court, pursuant to resolution 1593 and the subsequent orders of ICC judges. 

Bensouda is also expected to inform the Council of the Court’s recent judicial activities. On 26 May, the confirmation of charges hearing in the case The Prosecutor v. Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman (“Ali Kushayb”) concluded before Pre-Trial Chamber II of the ICC. According to the Prosecution, Abd-Al-Rahman is suspected of 31 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed between August 2003 and at least April 2004 in Darfur. He was transferred to the ICC’s custody on 9 June 2020, after surrendering himself voluntarily in the Central African Republic. On 2 June, the Appeals Chamber dismissed five grounds of appeal and confirmed the decision of the Pre-Trial Chamber, which found no changed circumstances that would warrant his release from detention. The Pre-Trial Chamber is expected to deliver its written decision on Abd-Al-Rahman’s case within 60 days of the conclusion of the confirmation of charges hearing. 

Council members are likely to be interested in hearing further details about Bensouda’s seven-day visit to Sudan which began on 29 May. Bensouda reportedly met with Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok and other government officials and travelled to Darfur to meet affected communities. The Office of the Prosecutor, led by Bensouda, last visited Sudan between 17 and 20 October 2020 after more than a decade. During her recent visit, Bensouda emphasised the need to address the outstanding ICC arrest warrants, including against Al Bashir. She called for the expeditious handover of Haroun as his case is related to that of Abd-Al-Rahman. She further stressed the need for continuous cooperation between the transitional government and the ICC to achieve justice in Darfur. Bensouda last briefed the Council on 10 December 2020 (S/2020/1192) [ ], where she noted that “developments in the Sudan give renewed hope for justice and accountability in Darfur”. 

Tags: Darfur, ICC, Insights on Africa, Justice and Criminal Accountability, Sudan 

Pictured: Fatou Bom Bensouda is a Gambian lawyer and international criminal law prosecutor. She has been the International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor since June 2012, after having served as a Deputy Prosecutor in charge of the Prosecutions Division of the ICC since 2004. Before that she was Minister of Justice and Attorney General of The Gambia from 1998 to 2000. She has held positions of Legal Adviser and Trial Attorney at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). Wikipedia.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Sudan: 0smano & Four Paws update from Khartoum #SudanAnimalRescue #SaveSudanLions #اسود_حديقة_القرشي

Photo credit: 
Osmano instagram 21 Feb 2020 - Lion cub from a zoo in Khartoum

Copy of instagram by Osmano in Khartoum, Sudan 03 Feb 2020:
Another day of amazing work by the dedicated and caring @four_paws_international team. The team spent the day at Sudan University Vetinary college which is within Kukoo Zoo. They carried out theoretical training as well as alot of hands on practical training for the students and staff of the University. Procedures were done on a lion cub (umbilical cord infection), monkey (fracture), crane and other bird. Once again there dedication and care leaves us speachless. Would like to thank the University, especially Dr Hind for all the help in organising and help in getting equipment out of airport for them.
Team work makes the dream work! 
📸 Four Paws International © | Marion Lombard @_rapaper_
[ Sudan Watch Ed: to visit the above instagram with photos click here: ]
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Photo credit: 
Osmano instagram 21 Feb 2020 - Four Paws' vet treating bird in Khartoum

Copy of instagram by Four Paws in Khartoum, Sudan 03 Feb 2020:
🔻🇸🇩🔻#SaveSudanLions 🦁: Another daily update from Sudan 
Here is another look at the current mission in Sudan. Besides Kandaka and Mansour, the two other lions, a male and a female, have received special care from our emergency team on-site. Since these two lions arrived in Al Qurashi Family Park Zoo only two months ago, they are in much better condition than Kandaka and Mansour. Still, the female already has bowel issues due to the improper feeding. The two lions, as well as the other animals on-site, are receiving species-appropriate food and medical attention.
Please keep the animals in your thoughts and support the mission team on-site [LINK IN BIO]

[ Sudan Watch Ed: to visit the above instagram with video click here: ]
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Photo credit: 
Osmano instagram 21 Feb 2020 - Four Paws' vet treating monkey in Khartoum

Photo credit: 
Osmano instagram 21 Feb 2020 - Four Paws' vet visiting Khartoum

Photo credit: 
Osmano instagram 21 Feb 2020 - Four Paws' vet visiting Khartoum

Photo credit: 
Osmano instagram 21 Feb 2020 - Four Paws' vet visiting Khartoum

Sudan: International help for starving lions in Khartoum zoo - Osman Salih's story goes viral
Sudan Watch - 20 Feb 2020

Monday, March 30, 2020

Sudan: the real magical kingdom - This is Sudan, land of the kingdom of Kush - The pyramids in Meroe

The pyramids in Meroe

Article from The Sunday Times, UK
Written by Teresa Levonian Cole
Dated Sunday 23 February 2020, 12.01am

Sudan: the real magical kingdom
You’ll be enchanted by historic sights, dazzling desert and warm‑hearted locals

From the 16th floor of the Corinthia Hotel in Khartoum, I looked out over three ribbons of silvery water glittering in the sun. Two of them, on my right, belonged to the Blue Nile, which hugged the landmass of Tuti Island. On my left, like a muscular biceps, the bulge of the White Nile gradually tapered to where the two rivers met. In Egypt, such a significant union might be marked by fanfare or, at the very least, a tourist kiosk. But here, as I discovered when I took a boat ride downstream to the confluence, there is nothing. No guests, no celebrations: the marriage of the Blue and the White Nile is an intimate affair.
This is Sudan, land of the kingdom of Kush