Friday, March 27, 2009

Sudan's Bashir travels to Eritrea, Egypt, Libya are not to challenge ICC

From Radio Dabanga
Travels Bashir not challenging ICC
Thursday, 26 March 2009
KHARTOUM (27 March) – The international attorney specialized in the issue of the Darfur indictement of the International Crime Court, Abdel Hadi Shallouf, says that the travels of president Omar Al Bashir to the neighbouring countries are not important and have no significance. President Al Bashir traveled to Eritrea, Egypt and Libya during the last week after the ICC issued an arrest warrant. The lawyer Shallouf says: “During these short trips he is not passing international airspace. In this way he is not challenging the International Criminal Court. Anyhow, the procedures of exchanging criminals will take a long time, also if an arrest would happen in countries like England and France”, Shallouf told Radio Dabanga. [End]
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Bashir arrives in Libya

Photo: Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir (C) arrives in Libya's capital Tripoli, March 26, 2009 to hold talks with leader Muammar Gaddafi, a Libyan official said. (Reuters/Sudan Presidential Press Unit/Handout)

Sudan's Al Bashir in Libya

Photo: Thursday, 26 March 2009, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi greets Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir, right, upon his arrival in Tripoli, Libya, the third country that Mr Bashir has visited in four days. (AP Photo)

Bashir and Gadaffi

Photo: Thursday, 26 March 2009, Libya's leader Muammar Gaddafi (R) welcomes Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir. (Reuters/Sudan Presidential Press Unit/Handout)

Sudan's President al-Bashir arrives in Libya
Thursday, 26 March 2009 report by DPA via M&C - excerpt:
Tripoli- Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir arrived in Libya Thursday in an unscheduled visit for talks with Libyan leader Muammar al-Qadhafi, the Libyan news agency (JANA) reported.

The satellite news channel al-Arabiya reported on Thursday that Al-Bashir, who arrived in Egypt Wednesday, had been scheduled to make Ethiopia the latest stop in his tour of countries that have not signed the Rome Statute on the International Criminal Court (ICC) and so are not obligated to execute the arrest warrant.

At the end of al-Bashir's meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak Wednesday, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul-Gheit reaffirmed Egypt's commitment to send doctors to Sudan to help make up for al-Bashir's expulsion of 13 aid organisations soon after the ICC issued its warrant for al-Bashir's arrest earlier this month.

Aboul-Gheit repeated Egypt's promise to coordinate with Arab and Islamic aid groups to help fill the gap left by the 13 international aid agencies' expulsion.
Sudan's Bashir goes to Libya, defying ICC
Thursday March 26, 2009 Reuters report - excerpt:
Gaddafi, who is also the current president of the African Union, said last month that "foreign forces" including Israel were stoking the Darfur conflict and urged the ICC to stop proceedings against Bashir.

Libyan Prime Minister Al-Baghdadi Ali Al-Mahmoudi and top government and military officials welcomed Bashir at the airport in Sirte, Gaddafi's home town 500 km (300 miles) east of the capital Tripoli, Libyan state news agency JANA said.

Bashir, flanked by a delegation including Sudan's foreign and industry ministers, met Gaddafi over lunch and thanked the veteran Libyan leader for his staunch support, it said.

"President al-Bashir thanked the leader of the revolution ... for his solid pro-Sudan positions in regional and international forums, a position that reflects the depth of the relationship between the two brother countries," JANA said.

The two leaders discussed ways to address the humanitarian situation in Darfur and Sudan's relations with Chad, while Gaddafi "stressed his rejection of the decisions of the so-called "criminal court"", it said.

They agreed to focus on a "social solution" for Darfur and work towards a free and fair referendum for its population, JANA added.

Gaddafi says Africa can solve its own problems without outside meddling and has made a number of attempts to broker peace between Darfur rebels and the Khartoum government.

(Reporting by Andrew Heavens; Writing by Cynthia Johnston and Tom Pfeiffer; Editing by Charles Dick)
Reports: Sudan president arrives in Libya
Thursday, 26 March 2009, report by Xinhua - excerpt:
Bashir will hold talks during the visit with Libyan leader Muammar Ghaddafi on ways to promote bilateral relations, the Darfur issue and the dispute between Sudan and the ICC, said Egypt's official MENA news agency, without naming a source.

The Sudanese president visited Eritrea and Egypt earlier this week.
Bashir and Taha

Photo: Thursday, 26 March 2009, Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir (L) is welcomed by Sudanese 2nd Vice President Ali Osman Taha upon his arrival in Khartoum from Libya. (Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin)

Sudan's Bashir & Egypt's Mubarak

Photo: Wednesday, 25 March 2009, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, right, meets with Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir at the Presidential Palace in Cairo, Egypt. (AFP/Cris Bouroncle)

Bashir and Taha

Photo: Wednesday, 25 March 2009, Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir, front left, is accompanies by Sudanese 2nd Vice President Ali Osman Taha, right, upon his return to Khartoum airport, Sudan, following his visit to Egypt, Wednesday, March 25, 2009. (AP Photo/Abd Raouf)

Sudan's Bashir in Eritrea

Photo: Monday, 23 March 2009, Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir (L) addresses a news conference as his Eritrean counterpart Isaias Afwerki (R) looks on in Asmara, Eritrea. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Sudanese president pays first visit abroad in spite of ICC arrest warrant
Monday, 23 March 2009 report by Xinhua - excerpt:
The Sudanese president said that the visit came at the invitation of President Afewerki to show the positions of Eritrean supporting Sudan and to make sure that it stands with Sudan in the same trench.

Eritrean President Afewerki, on his part, reiterated his government's refusal of the ICC decision, according to the SUNA report, terming the decision as a political one aiming at undermining the security and stability in Sudan and complicating the Darfur issue.

"Our problems on the African continent are imposed from the outside," the Eritrean president said, stressing the capacity of the African leaders to overcome these challenges.
Sudan president returns from Eritrea

Photo: Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir is welcomed by Sudanese 2nd Vice President Ali Osman Taha upon his return from Eritrea (AFP) Source: Al-Ahram

Qatari PM

Photo: Tuesday, 24 March 2009, Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir, right, meets with Qatari prime minister and minister of foreign affairs Sheik Hamad bin Jassem Al Thani in Khartoum,Tuesday, March 24, 2009. Talks focused on the second round of Darfur peace agreement in Doha, Qatar, and Bashir's participation in an Arab Summit there. (AP Photo/Abd Raouf)

Bashir meets Somali President Sheikh

Photo: Sunday, 22 March 2009, Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir (R) meets Somali President Sheikh Sherif at the state house in the capital Khartoum, (Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin)
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ICC prosecutor: Al-Bashir's trips abroad a "sign of desperation"
Thursday, 26 March 2009, report by DPA via M&C:
Amman - International Criminal Court (ICC) chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo on Thursday said Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir's trips to neighbouring countries was 'a sign of desperation.'

'It seems to me that al-Bashir's trips are nothing more than a sign of desperation rather than a challenge to the ICC,' Moreno- Ocampo said in a telephone interview with the Doha-based al-Jazeera satellite television channel.

'Al-Bashir carries out short-distance trips to countries neighbouring Sudan to give the impression that he can travel, but he cannot go farther,' he said.

The Sudanese president, who is the subject of an international arrest warrant issued by the ICC on March 4 for alleged atrocities in Sudan's western Darfur region, on Thursday visited Libya.

Earlier this week he made similar trips to Eritrea and on Wednesday he visited Egypt, where he met with President Hosny Mubarak.

Al-Bashir has been invited to the regular Arab summit conference due to be held in Doha at the month, but Sudan's top Islamic scholars have advised him not to attend.

Qatar, Egypt, Eritrea and Libya have not signed the Rome Statue that established the ICC. All countries were, however, 'supposed to implement international law and help us to stop the genocide in Darfur,' Moreno-Ocampo said.

'The arrest of al-Bashir may take time, but he must be eventually arrested,' he said.
Note from Sudan Watch Ed:  Surely Prosectuor Moreno-Ocampo is aware that the way he talks is music to the rebels' ears. Why should the rebels give up on violence and make peace when they have the ICC on their side and a prosecutor who behaves like the savedarfurcrowd aiming to topple Sudan's sitting head of state? Mr Moreno-Ocampo's cavalier style reminds me of an old Hollywood cowboy movie The Lone Ranger.   Sorry.  Bad joke.  Bad mood.  After five years of blogging at Sudan Watch it is unbearably angering and sad watching recent developments unfold when they could have so easily been avoided.  The only hope left is that the UN Security Council takes advice from Chief Mediator Djibril Bassole and uses its power to suspend the ICC's proceedings against Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir.

The Lone Ranger
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South Sudan on the brink of collapse
Source: Refugees International (RI) via ReliefWeb
Date: Thursday, 26 March 2009 - excerpt:
Refugees International also expressed concern over increasing localized conflict and instances of insecurity. Communities voiced concerns to RI about the lack of police patrols and lack of protection by the Government of Southern Sudan and the UN peacekeeping mission in southern Sudan (UNMIS). According to UN statistics, from January to November 2008, 187,000 people were forcibly displaced by tribal and armed conflict in south Sudan. RI is concerned that UNMIS, the UN and non-governmental organizations have yet to develop clear contingency planning and protection strategies in the case of large outbreaks of violence.
Who can get any important work done when the rebels and ICC sap everyone's time and energy. I believe that Mr Bashir's travels to Eritrea, Egypt and Libya are important visits to fight for Sudan, shore up support and get things done and sorted out, not to challenge or defy the ICC. The reason I believe that is because it is what I would do if I were in his shoes.

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