Friday, October 31, 2008

Darfuri civil society and human rights activists: Justice for victims in Darfur

The Hague, The Netherlands

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 31 October 2008

Darfuri civil society and human rights activists: Justice for victims in Darfur

The Hague- Supporting the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court on his quest of an arrest warrant for Omar al-Bashir, president of Sudan, on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Darfur civil society submits a letter of gratitude to the Chief Prosecutor of the ICC, outlining their strong and genuine support to the endeavour of the Chief Prosecutor in pursuit for justice for the innocent civilians of Darfur.
Darfur civil society worldwide and human rights activists express their full support for Mr Moreno-Ocampo’s work and stressed the importance of the international community’s pursuit of justice for the victims of crimes against humanity in Darfur.

Sudanese regime and its allied janjaweed militia continue to commit gross crimes against humanity and intentionally maintain inflicting on the people of Darfur the worse conditions of life to create the physical destruction of the civilian populations. To end the suffering of the people of Darfur, perpetrators must be brought to justice. Organizations such as African Union, Arab League and Organization of Islamic conference should not be rewarding perpetrators of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity by attempting to derail ICC indictment on Darfur crimes ” said Ahmed M. Mohamedain, leader of Darfur Union, a Darfuri civil society group based in The Hague.
Darfuri civil society and human rights activists have long stressed the paramount importance of pursuing justice while continuing to seek a political resolution to the conflict in Darfur.

“We call the international community to extend their strong support to the Chief Prosecutor to exercise his duties and to translate the ‘’NEVER AGAIN’’ slogan into reality” said Mohamed Ibrahim Abdelwahab, Spokesman of Darfur People’s Union in U.K and Northern Ireland.
The activists have called especially on the members of the United Nations Security Council to show strong support for the Prosecutor’s work and to insist on Sudanese compliance with the ICC.

Abdelbagi Jibril, Executive Director of the Darfur Relief and Documentation Centre, noted: “The decision to refer the situation in Darfur to the ICC was done by a means of UN Security Council resolution 1593 (2005) of 31stMarch 2005. As such the ICC action on Darfur is a mechanism for implementation of the provisions of UNSC resolution 1593. We wish to remind all UN member states, whether they are State Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC or not, to fully support the ICC work on Darfur and meet their obligations to cooperate in implementing mandatory UN Security Council resolutions”

Darfuri activist and Liaison Officer with the Save Darfur Coalition Niemat Ahmadi said: “As Darfuri woman I strongly believe that justice for the genocide victims must be an uncompromised right. I believe the suffering that came as the result of the injustice will not be alleviated without a proper trial and investigation, which will only be found in the ICC. Albashir has been given the last six years to make peace, but instead we have only seen the suffering of our people increase and the situation worsening. This gathering of the Darfuri civil society from all over Europe today is to press for justice to become a reality now in Darfur. The world must take into account that Darfuri concerns should be the priority among any other concerns. We are the victims and we want justice to be allowed to take its course.”

For further information contact:

Darfur Union, The Hague
Ahmed M. Mohamedain: +31 642 330 058

Darfur Relief and Documentation Centre, Geneva
Abdelbagi Jibril: +41 22 747 00 89

Darfur People’s Union in UK and Northern Ireland
Mohamed Ibrahim Abdelwahab, London +44 7717 408 966

Liaison Officer with the Save Darfur Coalition,
Niemat Ahmadi, Washington + 12022239541

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Demonstration at the ICC in support of the indictment of the Sudanese president el Bashir

Press statement For immediate release
October 24, 2008


Demonstration at the ICC in support of the indictment
of the Sudanese president el Bashir

Darfur Union in The Netherlands together with Darfur Unions and Associations worldwide will hold demonstration at the International Criminal Court to support the efforts of The Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Mr. Moreno-Ocampo in the indictment of the Sudanese president Omar Hassan el Bashir for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur.

Human rights activists and organizations, Sudanese civil society organizations and political parties and the press are cordially invited on this day.

Date: October 31st, 2008
Time: 12:00 till 17:00 CET
Place: The Hague, The office of ICC
Route: Starting point is Malieveld (near by the central train station of The Hague) and the end point is the ICC office.


Information desk
Interim committee Darfur Union in The Netherlands
Elemam Musa +31 617385135
Nazar Fransawi +31 617472631
Jamal Khamis +31 707852593
Darfur Union in The Netherlands
e-mail: darfurunion@yahoo.com

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Mariam Amu the artist

Nn Zalingi mountain the people are beating to people

Save Lives in Darfur

Every day, the 2.5 million people chased from their homes in Darfur face the threat of starvation, disease, and rape, while the few lucky enough to remain in their homes risk displacement, torture, and murder. Therefore, we call on you to do the following:

Push for the immediate deployment of the already-authorized U.N. peacekeeping force.

Strengthen the understaffed African Union force already in Darfur until the U.N. force can be deployed.

Increase humanitarian aid and ensure access for delivery.

Establish a no-fly zone. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Indicted over Darfur, Sudan's President Feints and Punches Back

Ever since the International Criminal Court began pursuing allegations of war crimes in Darfur in 2005, its investigators have pursued a government-backed militia leader known as "the colonel of colonels." Ali Muhammad Ali Abd Al Rahman — a.k.a. Ali Kushayb — was high in the pantheon of the Janjaweed militia when a warrant was finally issued for his arrest in February 2007. Investigators said he led raids that left hundreds dead and countless homes destroyed. According to one witness, Ali Kushayb once inspected a line of naked women just before they were raped by his men. There were critical grumblings that the Sudanese government was coddling him: Ali Kushayb had been detained before but had been released for lack of evidence.

So it was more than a surprise when Khartoum announced last week that it had, in fact, been holding Ali Kushayb for several months and that he would be put on trial. "The timing of this particular claim about an arrest is certainly interesting," says Christopher Hall, head of Amnesty International's International Justice Project. Sudan claims that the investigation into Kushayb gained speed after a special prosecutor was appointed in August. But Hall and many others suspect that Ali Kushayb's trial — if it ever happens — is just the Sudanese government's latest gambit in what has become a full-blown campaign to derail the International Criminal Court's investigation into its own complicity in charges of genocide in Darfur. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>

“The Darfur Case” ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo’s address to CFR in NY, 10/1708

NEW YORK, USA, October 25, 2008/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Following is a keynote address by Mr. Luis Moreno-Ocampo, prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, on “The Darfur Case,” as given at the Council for Foreign Relations Symposium in New York, 17 October 2008.


Ladies and Gentlemen,


I would like to thank the Jolie-Pitt Foundation for promoting this dialogue at the Council on Foreign Relations. Particular thanks go to Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt for the consistent support that they have offered my Office since they visited the Court two years ago. In our first meeting Angelina Jolie told me that after visiting more than 25 refugee camps in different parts of the world she asked herself: Who is doing something to confront the root of the problems these refugees are facing? They are in a desperate situation. They cannot protect their own rights. This is particularly true for the displaced people in Darfur.


I am the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. In 1998 States decided to create a permanent and independent international criminal justice system. They did it based on ideals and self-interest. They knew that in the world of today, no country has enough power or legitimacy. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sudan's plots to derail ICC indictments on Darfur war crimes'

Nairobi, Kenya - The Sudanese government is attempting to undermine the International Criminal Court (ICC) efforts to prosecute senior government officials and rebel leaders suspected of crimes against humanity in Darfur, a rights body said here.

Sudan's recent legal actions against a militia commander and others accused of war crimes in Darfur hold little promise of bringing justice to victims of serious abuses, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a statement Tuesday.

HRW accused the Sudanese government of trying to undermine investigations by the ICC efforts to arrest and try individuals suspected of sponsoring atrocities in Darfur.

"The Sudanese government is putting up more window-dressing as part of its ongoing effort to block the investigations of the ICC," said Georgette Gagnon, HRW Africa Director. "No one should be fooled by these moves." Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Sunday, October 19, 2008

First justice, then peace in Sudan

An international warrant for Omar al-Bashir, accused of genocide in Darfur, could speed his political demise.

The HagUe - For almost two decades, Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir has waged foul wars on ethnic groups within his country that happened to live on oil- or mineral-rich land. Today, the international community is finally close to holding him accountable. Though it could make for a rocky transition, it is the key to peace.

Even before Darfur, aerial bombing, murder, and rape seemed to be his government's tools for settling scores with the mainly African Christians of southern Sudan. In that 23-year war for resource control, just under 2 million people died as a result of mass violence.

In 2005, the US brokered a peace deal that divided control of the oil fields. But it did not address the crimes committed. And by the time it was signed, Mr. Bashir was back to the same, in Darfur.

This summer, however, things changed. The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, requested an arrest warrant against Bashir on suspicion of genocide. A flood of worst-case predictions followed. A fear that the situation will worsen has increased. And so have worries about chances for any meaningful peace process.

The pressure is now mounting on the United Nations Security Council to defer the ICC proceedings – as soon as this month – before the court judges decide the fate of the warrant request. This political emergency brake was meant to be used only when the interests of justice and peace collide.

Bashir is clearly doing his best to convince the world that the call for his arrest will indeed collide with peace in Darfur. He recently sent a diplomatic mission to Security Council member states, promising renewed peace and possible deals. Back home, his troops attacked Darfur's largest refugee camp, killing dozens. Read more >>>>>>>

End terror in Darfur

''Never again.'' These are the words spoken after the Nazi regime in Europe ended. We swore that we would never let our guard down again. We would not let innocent people suffer. Unfortunately, we have failed.

A horrible genocide is occurring in Darfur, in Sudan. Parents are losing their children, children are losing their parents and, worse, not enough is being done to stop this massacre. Since 2003, more than 300,000 people have been viciously murdered, and more than two million more have been displaced.

In 2001, more than 3,000 Americans died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Our country was almost paralyzed. The American spirit was temporarily destroyed, and there was fear in citizens' hearts. All of this for 3,000 lives. But 300,000 lives have been taken so far in Sudan, and not enough has been done.

In Darfur, a military-based group called the janjaweed, consisting mainly of Arab tribes, is persecuting black Africans. If this massacre were happening in the United States, life as we know it would be put on hold, and the tragedy would be put to an end. Unfortunately, it is occurring in an area with little media and political attention. It is not getting the attention and concern that it deserves.

Foreigners typically have a negative perception of our country. For instance, they think that we don't belong in Iraq. However, a nation as powerful as ours belongs in Darfur. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Saturday, October 18, 2008

North Darfur fighting displaces 24,000: UN

EL FASHER, Sudan (AFP) — A surge of fighting in Sudan's isolated north Darfur region has displaced 24,000 people, who face shortages of food and water, a senior UN official said on Friday, urging a rapid humanitarian response.

"The numbers being thrown out now are somewhere in the neighbourhood of about 24,000 people that have not gone back to Birmaza or Disa," said Gregory Alex, the head of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur.

A first wave of people abandoned their homes five or six weeks ago when the fighting began and a second group towards the end of September.

But Alex said humanitarian access to the area has been extremely limited, owing to insecurity and banditry.

"I would guess that their access to basic necessities are extremely limited. Water, I think, has been identified as the most important need, but then you have shelter. The colder season is approaching... these places don't have firewood," he said.

"The problem with the food is that they're distant from any place that they could actually have a distribution... that puts them in, I'd say, a fairly difficult situation." Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Statement , Darfur Union, The Netherlands

Statement

The Hague, Netherlands
October 05th, 2008

In a democratic and transparent environment, a reasonable number of Darfuris in The Netherlands appointed a preparatory committee with limited capacity to address the concerns of Darfuris in the coming three months till the day of their general assembly on which Darfur Union in The Netherlands will be established.

Members of the preparatory committee:

Name Tel E-mail
1) Ahmed M. Mohamedain +31 642330058 mohamedain02@gmail.com
2) Mahammed Muhagir +31 647185328 mamuhagir@yahoo.com
3) Jamal Abdalla Khamis +31 000000000 jeemi_1974@yahoo.com
4) Hawa Juma Ahmed +31 000000000 eshak100@yahoo.com
5) Elemam Musa Elemam +31 617385135 e.musaelemam@hotmail.com
6) Nazar I. Fransawi +31 617472631 nicoblack001@yahoo.com
7) Imad Ahmed Addin +31 000000000 imados77@hotmail.com


Preparatory Committee for Darfuris in The Netherlands
Secretary of Information
darfurunion@yahoo.com

Friday, October 17, 2008

Pre-Trial Chamber I requests additional materials in relation to the request for a warrant of arrest for Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al Bashir

On 15 October 2008, Pre-Trial Chamber I issued a decision requesting the Prosecution to submit, no later than 16.00 hours on 17 November 2008, additional supporting materials in relation to some confidential aspects of the Prosecution's request for a warrant of arrest for the Sudanese President, Omar Hassan Al Bashir.

On 14 July 2008, the Prosecutor made a request to Pre Trial Chamber I for the issuance of a warrant of arrest for the Sudanese President, Omar Hassan Al Bashir, for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide allegedly committed by him through members of the state apparatus, the army and the Militia/Janjaweed in the context of an armed conflict against organised rebel groups.

The situation in Darfur, Sudan, was referred to the International Criminal Court by the United Nations Security Council under resolution 1593 of 31 March 2005. The Prosecutor opened an investigation into the situation on 6 June 2005. For more see
http://www.icc-cpi.int/press/pressreleases/430.html

Sunday, October 12, 2008

How Did The Perpetrators Of The Darfur Genocide End Up Running A U.N. Anti-Poverty Program?

Eight years ago, nearly all United Nations member states and many international organizations committed to a series of ambitious steps designed to respond immediately to critical needs within the developing world, and particularly in Africa. Known as the "Millennium Development Goals" (MDG), these included the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, reduction in child mortality, and combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other major diseases. 2015 was set as the deadline for meeting specific targets in all of these areas. But the reconvening of the U.N. General Assembly last month proved yet another occasion for lamenting our distance from meeting the MDG's objectives.

There are many reasons for these delays, and they lie on both sides of the "developmental divide." Richer nations, especially in the developed West, have provided neither sufficient financial resources nor the essential tools for developing nations to confront the daunting challenges they face. And poor governance, corruption, and financial mismanagement have plagued many of the nations most desperately in need. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

French Foreign Min Presses Sudan To Cooperate On Darfur

PARIS (AFP)--France told a senior Sudanese envoy Tuesday that Khartoum must cooperate with the international community to end violence in Darfur and bring to justice two suspects wanted for war crimes.

"In all of these areas, France expects actions," Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner told Nafie Ali Nafie, an adviser to Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

Kouchner met with Nafie after France raised the possibility of suspending a bid by international prosecutors to seek an arrest warrant against Bashir for genocide.

If charges are brought, it would be the first time the International Criminal Court has indicted a sitting head of state since it started operating in 2002.

But Paris has said Sudan must cooperate with the Hague-based ICC seeking to prosecute two Sudanese officials wanted by the court for the massacre of civilians in Darfur province.

Khartoum must also take steps to end the violence in Darfur, allow access for humanitarian aid workers, normalize relations with Chad and facilitate the deployment of a joint force by the U.N. and the African Union, said Kouchner. Read more >>>>>>>>

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

ICC push for Sudan leader arrest warrant

THE HAGUE (AFP) — Prosecutors at the International Criminal Court sought to persuade a panel of judges Wednesday to grant their request for a genocide arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir.

A closed hearing was held at the court's seat in The Hague in the morning for the prosecution to present evidence to back up the request for a warrant.

In a public document, the court said it had convened the hearing because "it (is) necessary to receive additional information from the prosecution in relation to the prosecution's application."

In July, chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo asked the court for an arrest warrant for Beshir on ten counts of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Read More >>>>>>>>>>>

When the bombing stopped, we fled Darfur

A move by the Sudanese government to bomb a region in Darfur thought to be a rebel stronghold has resulted in the deaths and mass displacement of thousands of civilians on the ground. When a shell hit her house in July this year Zenaba pulled her children out of the burning rubble and carried them to the Chad border, where they are still struggling to rebuild their lives

I was in the house with all my children when the bomb hit, injuring me and three of my six children. It was a Friday. The plane came over in the afternoon. First we heard the sound of the plane arriving and then – it was so fast – the bombs. My brother-in-law says that six bombs were dropped. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>

Mariam Amu

To all Darfuris during Eid festivities