Friday, December 27, 2013

UK calls on Sudan to cooperate with ICC

Statement delivered by UK Representative on ICC Darfur to UN Security Council
Thank you, Mr President.
I thank Ms Bensouda for her report and for the briefing today. Sadly, we have not seen an improvement in the situation in Darfur since she last addressed the Council in June.
The situation in Darfur remains a serious concern. Over the last six months we have continued to see heavy inter-communal fighting, sporadic clashes between Government and rebel forces and we have received reports of continued aerial strikes by the Government of Sudan. It has been reported that over 460,000 individuals have been newly displaced between January and November this year.
Mr President,
Humanitarian aid workers and peacekeepers continue to be attacked throughout Darfur. In particular we take this opportunity today to condemn the attack on UNAMID on 24 November which resulted in the death of one Rwandan peacekeeper bringing the total killed in the last year to 13. Many others were injured in that attack and we wish them a speedy and full recovery. Such attacks against UNAMID are unacceptable. We hope that the ongoing review of the mission will address the challenges facing UNAMID. And we call on all parties to ensure the mission is granted full and unfettered access across Darfur.
We thank the Prosecutor for her updates on the trial of Abdallah Banda, and on the termination of proceedings against Saleh Jerbo following reports of his death.
Mr President,
It remains deeply concerning, however, that the Government of Sudan continues to frustrate the pursuit of justice for the people of Darfur by shielding all of the others currently indicted by the ICC. The Government of Sudan has a clear and indisputable obligation to cooperate with the ICC, pursuant to Security Council resolution 1593. It has consistently and repeatedly failed to do so. We call once again on the Government of Sudan to meet its obligations and to cooperate with the ICC, including with respect to enforcement of the five separate arrest warrants issued by the Court.
Once again, in this reporting period we have seen some ICC States Parties regrettably fail to comply with their obligations under the Rome Statute by not implementing the arrest warrants when visited by someone indicted by the Court. The United Kingdom urges all ICC States Parties to meet their obligations under the Rome Statute with respect to the travel of fugitives from the Court.
The references in the report to crimes of sexual violence in Darfur are disturbing. We are grateful to the Office of the Prosecutor for its ongoing work in this regard. The United Kingdom believes that there is more that can – and must – be done to combat sexual violence and address the culture of impunity that has been allowed to develop for these crimes. This culture must be replaced with a culture of accountability. We encourage all states to cooperate with the Court to ensure that the alleged perpetrators of these and other serious crimes of concern against the people of Darfur are held accountable for their actions.
In a Presidential Statement in February this year, the Council reiterated its previous call on the importance of State cooperation with Courts and Tribunals and expressed its commitment to an effective follow up of Council decisions in that regard. It is now high time that the Council did so by looking urgently at what it can do to assist the Court so it can complete the task we gave it when we referred the situation in Darfur to the Court over 8 years ago.
Thank you, Mr President

Security Council hears criticism over ‘inaction and paralysis’ in Darfur crisis

11 December 2013 – It is “an understatement” to say the victims of Sudan’s Darfur conflict have lost all hope, the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) said today, reiterating her “frustration and despair” at the United Nations Security Council's “inaction and paralysis”, and urged it to take firm action to bring those indicted for war crimes to justice.
In its resolution 1593 (2005), the Council asked the Hague-based Court to investigate war crimes in Darfur, and in 2009, ICC judges issued arrest warrants against Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir and other top officials for crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Darfur.“The time has come for this Council and States Parties to seriously devise strategies for arresting those alleged to be responsible for these crimes,” Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda told the 15-member body during her office’s latest briefing on the conflict between the Government and various armed groups which led to the deaths hundreds of thousands of people and displaced two million more since it first erupted in early 2003.“This is the only way to stop the seemingly endless suffering of the Darfur victims,” she said, calling it a “serious indictment on this Council and on States Parties” that Mr. Bashir and others have been able to show “blatant disregard” for the Council’s resolutions and travel to various countries without fear of arrest.“The situation in Darfur continues to deteriorate and the plight of Darfur victims continues to go from bad to worse,” she stressed noting that this year alone 460,000 people have been newly displaced, with the numbers of people killed, abducted and displaced growing each year. “This Council's silence even when notified of clear failures and/or violations by UN Member States of their obligations to comply with this Council's resolutions only serves to add insult to the plight of Darfur's victims.”Giving an overview of alleged crimes which continue to be committed and “cry out for full investigations,” Ms. Bensouda cited allegations of Defence Ministry attacks targeting civilians as well as attacks by rebel movements; criminal acts against displaced persons and abductions of, and attacks on humanitarian aid workers and peacekeepers. She also noted aerial bombardments and “the pervasive and corrosive effect of organized sexual and gender-based violence” on women and girls, which remains seriously under-reported.Ms. Bensouda said Resolution 1593 represented hope for Darfur's victims: “hope that there would be an end for their suffering; hope that there would be accountability for crimes and that justice would not only be done but would be seen to be done; and above all, hope that lasting peace and security would return to Darfur.“That hope was strengthened even further when this Council mandated my Office to report on progress every six months to enable the Council to remain actively seized of their plight. Sadly, with each report provided by my Office to the Council, the hopes of the victims of Darfur have faded. With this eighteenth report, it would be an understatement to say that all hope is lost.”She noted that the 10-year conflict has cost UN and humanitarian aid organizations more than $10.5 billion and led to the deaths of 47 aid workers, with many more injured and abducted, and with attacks on peacekeepers appearing to become the norm, with a record number of 57 killings. “In spite of the frustrations, challenges and obstacles, my Office's determination to carry out the mandate given to it by Resolution 1593 has not and will not waver,” she stressed.But, she added, “Without stronger action by this Council and States Parties, the situation in the Sudan is unlikely to improve.”

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Debt Relief for Sudan from The Netherlands: What Next?


Eric Reeves
The Enough Project, 5 December 2013
[Arabic translation at:]
Yesterday the Dutch government decided to offer debt relief to Sudan, an extraordinarily misguided action, the more so since Sudan was the only country favored by such relief. The decision is bad for many reasons, but most conspicuously because of the encouragement it gives the present regime in Khartoum to believe that other nations and institutions will offer similar relief; indeed, according to some observers this was the thinking on the part of some in the Dutch parliament. The amount to be forgiven is relatively small— €150 million or about $US200 million—given the massive debt that has accrued largely under the National Islamic Front/National Congress Party (NIF/NCP) regime: some $45 billion, according to the IMF. Debt was only a fraction of this before the military coup that brought the NIF/NCP to power in 1989. And despite gross mismanagement of the economy, the regime now believes there is hope it will be given a lifeline by which to survive current civil unrest in the country.
Let’s be clear: There is simply no country in the world less deserving of debt relief than Sudan—not one. Coincidentally, two days earlier, Transparency International released the results of its Global Corruption Perceptions Index for 2013. Sudan ranked at 174 out of 177 countries surveyed, with only Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia faring worse in the Index. Moreover, Sudan’s score actually declined this past year; there is absolutely no sign of improvement.
This is important because many of the reasons for Sudan’s external indebtedness derive from corruption, which takes various forms: the vast system of cronyism that provides political support to the regime; the illegal appropriation and sale of valuable farmland to foreign companies; the impunity afforded to the security services in extortion and asset-stripping of humanitarian organizations and “non-Arab” Sudanese; and the monumental graft that has defined the regime for more than two decades—all of these have compelled unneeded or misdirected borrowing. Indeed, The Guardian (UK) reported in December 2010:
Omar al-Bashir, the Sudanese president, has siphoned as much as $9bn out of his impoverished country, and much of it may be stashed in London banks, according to secret U.S. diplomatic cables that recount conversations with the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. (December 17, 2010) Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Civilians in Sudan’s Darfur region face wholesale destruction

Posted by: Eric Reeves on Saturday, July 27, 2013

After years of obscurity and little reliable international reporting, the vast human catastrophe in Sudan’s Darfur region is once again in the news. It was regularly making headlines before 2008, when genocide in Darfur was already five years old and had claimed hundreds of thousands of civilian lives from the main African tribal groups, but a lack of sustained mainstream attention has meant that violence has surged effectively under the radar.
Few could have predicted that this remote and obscure region in western Sudan would galvanize American civil society. Then again, how could the loss of attention have been so rapid? ….

[Eric Reeves is a professor at Smith College and has written extensively on Sudan.]

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Shining light on Bashir's crimes in an unconventional way

By Julia Boccagno

Engaging in a creative protest to shine a light on the actions of the government of Chad, members of the Darfuri diaspora and activists with the BashirWatch project gathered at the Embassy of Chad with a giant video projection that was played on the Embassy walls.


Watch the video here: https://

The action was designed to place pressure on the Chadian government to prohibit Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir from entering the country for the fourth time since the International Criminal Court charged him with committing war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

As a member party of the International Criminal Court, Chad has a legal obligation to cooperate and arrest President Omar al-Bashir—the man responsible for systematically murdering over 300,000 innocent civilians in Darfur.

The projection put “in plain sight” massive images and video stories of Sudanese survivors onto the Embassy of Chad. Supporters across the world joined our efforts by sending in tweets, which were also projected onto the building.

Many Sudanese citizens attended the protest and were not only excited to call out the Chadian government, but to do so in an unconventional and innovative way. A Sudanese activist exclaimed, “I have been to many demonstrations in front of the Sudanese Embassy with regard to arresting al-Bashir and his indictment from the ICC, but this is quite special and creative because, this time, it’s shifted not to the Sudanese embassy, but to the Chadian Embassy. And that is because Chad plays a very crucial role in protecting al-Bashir and inviting him to their land.”

Others were equally as enthusiastic to redefine traditional protesting methods through new technology. Jimmy Mulla, President of Voices of Sudan, noted, “Once we try to bring in technology in terms of expressing our concerns, I think that reaches a much larger audience.”

Under duress, Chad postponed the event that Bashir was invited to attend for a second time. And until Bashir is arrested, we’ll continue to keep him under close watch.


A coalition of five human rights organizations, including United to End Genocide, work together as BashirWatch to support the ICC’s warrant for Bashir, bring him into custody, and transfer him to the International Criminal Court for trial. Join our global rapid response network to protest governments who allow Bashir to visit:

The writer can be reached at


Friday, January 11, 2013

Renewed Darfur fighting concerns U.N.

KHARTOUM, Sudan, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Fighting in Sudan's trouble region of Darfur is taking a toll in the state of security for civilians, a U.N. peacekeeping leader said.
Aichatou Mindaoudou, acting special envoy to the African Union-U.N. Hybrid Operation in Darfur, said she was concerned about fighting between rival groups in Darfur. Nearly 1,000 families have been displaced as a result of the fighting.
A statement from the mission said the envoy was concerned about the safety of civilians in the area.
"Mindaoudou also stressed that all parties involved in the conflict should respect their obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law," a mission statement read.
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is the subject of a 2009 arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court for war crimes committed in Darfur. An estimated 300,000 people have died there as a result of fighting between rebel forces and the government-supported Janjaweeed militia. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>