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Showing posts with label Sudan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sudan. Show all posts

ICC says South Africa broke rules by failing to arrest Bashir

~TheGuardian. Thursday, July 6, 2017

War crimes judges ruled Thursday that South Africa flouted its duties to the International Criminal Court in 2015 by failing to arrest visiting Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, wanted on genocide charges.

The widely expected judgement slapped Pretoria for failing in its obligations and hindering the work of the world’s only permanent war crimes tribunal, of which it is a founding member.

“The chamber concludes that by not arresting Omar al-Bashir while he was on its territory… South Africa failed to comply with the court’s request for the arrest and surrender” of the Sudanese leader, said presiding judge Cuno Tarfusser..

This was “contrary” to the provisions of the court’s guiding Rome Statute and prevented it from seeking to prosecute Bashir on 10 charges of war crimes, including three of genocide in Sudan’s western Darfur region.

But the judges stopped short of referring the matter to the UN Security Council for further action, with Tarfusser saying “a referral would be of no consequence”.

Despite two international arrest warrants issued in 2009 and 2010, Bashir remains at large and in office as conflict continues to rage in Darfur.

In June 2015, he attended an African Union summit in Johannesburg, and despite earlier consultations between ICC and South African officials then flew out of the country again unhindered.

The UN Security Council asked the ICC in 2005 to probe the crimes in Darfur, where at least 300,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million displaced since ethnic minorities took up arms against Bashir’s Arab-dominated government in 2003, according to UN figures.

No diplomatic immunity

Pretoria’s lawyers had argued at an April hearing at the ICC there “was no duty under international law on South Africa to arrest” Bashir, arguing there was “nothing at all” in the UN resolution to waive his diplomatic immunity.

But ICC prosecutor Julian Nicholls shot back that South Africa “had the ability to arrest and surrender him and it chose not to do so.”

In the end, the only reason Pretoria did not arrest him was that South Africa “disagreed with … the law as set out… so it did not comply,” he said.

Judges agreed in Thursday’s ruling that international obligations cannot “simply be put aside” if a country disagrees with them, and ruled that in this case Bashir did not enjoy immunity.

Africa’s longest-serving leaders

~Vanguard Nigeria. Friday, December 2, 2016.

Jose Eduardo
Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who is set to stand down next year after 38 years in power, is one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders.

The continent is home to many men who have held office for two decades or more, and dos Santos is currently second overall, just a month behind Teodoro Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea.

Here is a rundown:

– African leaders for more than 30 years –

– In tiny, oil-rich Equatorial Guinea, President Obiang is Africa’s longest-serving leader, at 37 years.

Obiang came to power in a coup on August 3, 1979, ousting his own uncle, Francisco Macias Nguema, who was shot by a firing squad.

– Dos Santos is next in Angola, having taken up his post on September 21, 1979.

– Robert Mugabe, 92, rounds out the podium at number three, having run Zimbabwe since its independence in April 1980.

Mugabe is the only leader to have ruled since independence, and has now been either prime minister or president (since 1987) for more than 36 years.

– In Cameroon, Paul Biya has 34 years under his belt. He became president on November 6, 1982 after serving seven years as prime minister.

– Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso has spent 32 years in office, but not in one go. He first served from 1979 to 1992 and then came back to run the country in 1997 at the end of a civil war.

Sassou Nguesso was re-elected in March 2016 and could run again when the current term expires.

– In Uganda, Yoweri Museveni has been in power for more than 30 years. He took office in January 1986 after winning the war that ousted Idi Amin Dada, with help from neighbouring Tanzania.

He was elected to a fifth term in February 2016 amid allegations of fraud.

– King Mswati III of Swaziland is Africa’s last absolute monarch. He acceded to the throne of the tiny southern kingdom in April 1986.

– In power for more than 20 years –

– In Sudan, Omar al-Bashir has ruled for 27 years since he staged a successful coup in June 1989.

– Chad’s leader Idriss Deby took over the north-central African nation in December 1990, giving him 26 years in power. Deby won a disputed fifth term in April 2016.

– Eritrea’s head of state Issayas Afewerki has been around since 1993.

– Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh has ruled for 22 years since he staged a coup in July 1994. However, he was defeated by opposition leader Adama Barrow, failing to get a fifth five-year term in Thursday’s election.

Love and War in Sudan

Written by By Natalie Peart - digital journal

I hope I don't disappoint you by telling you that this isn't a real love story. I am not going to recite an enchanting story of how I fell in love with a Sudanese man, petrified my Mother and gave up all to move to Sudan and live a nomadic life in the desert raising his camels, or how I witnessed a Mills and Boon style love affair in the country that is 'The Sudan'.

The love story does involve me, but it was not one single person but the country and everyone I met and the possibilities it holds that I fell in love 
with. The kind genuine Nubian people and the beautiful Nubia desert sand and skies and the possibilities for growth the country has.

Archaeologists say the pyramids, cemeteries and ancient palaces of the Nubian Desert in northern Sudan hold mysteries to rival ancient Egypt and as I meandered through the forgotten pyramids of Meroe with not another tourist in sight (apart from the other 22 people of course) I knew I was one of the privileged few who has ever experienced this. It really sets them apart from the pyramids of Egypt which I feel are slightly overshadowed by the hundreds of other people you have to share the experience with. And this is just one of the many attractions that Sudan hosts.

The war story however is a real war story, as with hope in this country comes misery, violence and death in Darfur. For over three years, everyone from the UN Secretary-General to the President of the United States to actors George Clooney and Mia Farrow have been calling for a stop to the conflict in Darfur. And nothing changes.
For four years the Government has been content in letting humanitarian agencies do the work of the Government and provide basic services to two-thirds of the entire population of Sudan’s Western region. The outcome, affluent suburbs in Khartoum and complete desolation in Southern Sudan and Darfur's states.

When I said I was going to Sudan the response that I got wasn't all unexpected. I'm the first to admit that I was cautious yet curious about the country that we have read so much about in terms of the civil war. But as the oracle that is the Lonely Planet said to me '"Khartoum (the capital of Sudan) is one of the friendliest and safest cities in the world", and of course the Planet didn't disappoint.
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