Tag Archives: Government of Sudan

Human Rights Watch Asks Kenya to Bar Entry to Bashir

Human Rights Watch along with other NGOs have urged that Kenya refuse entry or arrest Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir.  Bashir is the first sitting head of state indicted by an International Criminal Tribunal.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands has indicted Bashir for war crimes and genocide in Darfur, and issued two warrants for his arrest. He traveled to Kenya earlier this year, but was not arrested.  Kenya is a signatory to the Rome Statute, the founding treaty of the ICC.  All state parties of the ICC have agreed to cooperate with the ICC and arrest the persons sought by the ICC.

Sudan is not a signatory to the ICC treaty and has refused to surrender its president or the other ICC accused from its territory.  The situation in Sudan was referred to the ICC by a vote of the U.N. Security Council.

St. Lucia Ratifies ICC Treaty

This week the Caribbean Island nation of St. Lucia became the 113th nation to ratify the Treaty of Rome and become a member of International Criminal Court (ICC).  The ICC treaty became effective in 2002 when the 60th nation ratified the treaty.   In 1998, the treaty was signed by 120 countries and developed the framework for a court.

The court is intended to prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity and acts of genocide.  The court has jurisdiction in the nations that have ratified the treaty and that jurisdiction extends to acts from the effective date, July 1, 20o2.

The court was in part a response to international tribunals which had been created to prosecute crimes in the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda and Sierra Leone.  Instead of creating a new tribunal for each set of atrocities, the idea was to create a permanent court to hear all such cases.

In order to have jurisdiction, the crimes must occur in one of the states which has ratified the treaty, or the case must be referred by the U.N. Security Council.  The ICC has indicted persons from Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, and Darfur, Sudan.  The court has also approved an investigation into the post-election violence in Kenya, but no indictments have been made public.

The first ICC case to go to trial, Thomas Lubanga Dyilo of the Democratic Republic of Congo has been suspended because of the prosecution’s failure to comply with discovery orders by the court.  This case may provide a test of the lasting power of the court and its ability to function.  The court has ordered Lubanga released, but that order has been stayed pending appeal.

The court also has outstanding arrest warrants for the President of Sudan, Omar Al-Bashir.  The court has indicted Bashir for genocide, and war crimes in Sudan, but his government and many other countries have declined to arrest Bashir and present him to the court.

Another case that came to the court from Sudan, Bahar Idriss Abu Garda, won dismissal of the charges against him at the confirmation of charges hearing. Two more accused from Sudan have now voluntarily appeared before the ICC and are contesting the confirmation of charges.

A major criticism of the court so far has been that all the cases have come from Africa, in fact adjoining countries in Africa.  The ICC Prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo has said that more cases will be forthcoming and has said investigations are ongoing in Georgia, Guinea, Afghanistan, and Colombia.

The court cannot prosecute cases where a national authority has the jurisdiction and ability to prosecute.  Its mandate is to prosecute only those crimes that will otherwise go unpunished and those that are severe enough to qualify as war crimes or crimes against humanity.  The ICC sits in The Hague, Netherlands.

International Criminal Court Issues Another Warrant for Sudanese President Bashir

The International Criminal Court (ICC) Pretrial Chamber I has issued another arrest warrant for the President of Sudan, Omar Al-Bashir.  This decision follows an earlier direction from the appeals chamber, detailed here, that determined that the Pre-Trial Chamber had used the wrong standard in failing to indict Bashir for genocide.

Bashir is the first sitting head of state to be indicted by an international tribunal and have a warrant issued for his arrest, he now also bears the distinction of being the first person to be indicted for genocide by the International Criminal Court and the first person for whom an arrest warrant for genocide was issued.  There are now two arrest warrants out for Bashir.  The ICC’ press release is available here.

The situation in Darfur was referred to the ICC by the U.N. Security Council. Sudan is not a signatory to the  ICC treaty.  Bashir and the minister of Humanitarian Affairs in Sudan, Ahmad Harun are the Sudanese government officials who have been indicted.  Ali Kushayab, reputed head of the Janjaweed militia has also been indicted.  None of those three have appeared before the court.  Three other accused from Sudan have appeared voluntarily before the court.  Of the three who have voluntarily appeared, one,  Bahar Idriss Abu Garda had his case dismissed at the confirmation of charges hearing.  The other two are awaiting their confirmation of charges hearings.

Sudan was referred to the ICC for investigation of crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide.  Several victims have been granted the right to participate in these cases when they commence.  Persons who are victims of war crimes have a right to participate in the ICC cases and to seek reparations if there is a conviction.

New Sudan Accused Appear Voluntarily Before the International Criminal Court

Two new suspects in the International Criminal Court (ICC) situation in Darfur have now voluntarily appeared before the court to answer charges of war crimes involving attacks on U.N. peacekeepers.  Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain (Banda) and Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus (Jerbo) were issued summonses under seal in August of 2009.  Banda and Jerbo are scheduled to make their  appearances before the court on June 17, 2010.  A previous accused from Sudan, Bahar Idriss Abu Garda appeared voluntarily before the court and his case was dismissed at the confirmation of charges hearing.  That case was previously described here.

The court’s press release on the arrest of Banda and Jerbo is available here.  The International Criminal Law Bureau has blogged about the scheduled appearance here.

The President of Sudan, Omar Al Bashir remains under indictment for the crimes against humanity alleged in Darfur.  The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs of Sudan, Ahmad Harun and Ali Kushayb, the leader of the Janajaweed militia have also been indicted under public indictments.  None of those three have appeared before the court.  It is not known how many other indictments, summonses or warrants remain under seal.