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“Fight Against Impunity Is Inseparable From The Search For Peace In Darfur”

March 4, 2009

savedarfur

The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague has issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, accusing him of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur.

Most of the world reaction to this decision, though not unanimous, has been forward leaning, and morally correct.

Some of the reactions tried to tie peace in Darfur, and a more restrained approach to dealing with President Bashir, into one stream of thought.  I reject that approach outright.  To be honest, I did not include those type of comments below as it is so damn infuriating.  There is mounting realization that the two are not compatible.  If anyone doubts that fact look at the rape victims, the corpses, the burnt villages, and the refugee camps.  Then tell those in Darfur they should temper their need for justice, and strive only for peace.  I think we can have both, and with a committed world community we can.  We must.  We will.

AHMAD HUSAYN ADAM, SPOKESMAN FOR DARFUR JEM REBELS

This is a great day for all humanity and for international justice.

It is also a victory for us in the Justice and Equality Movement because the decision comes after much effort by many activists since the beginning of this crisis in 2003 to try President Bashir and his regime for their crimes in Darfur, for the killings and the displacement.

JEAN PING, AFRICAN UNION COMMISSION CHAIRMAN

The AU’s position is that we support the fight against impunity; we cannot let crime perpetrators go unpunished.

MAHGOUB HUSSEIN, DARFUR SLA-UNITY REBEL SPOKESMAN

This is another victory for humanity in Darfur.

The SLA-Unity calls for al-Bashir to resign and hand over power to the first deputy.

The movement announces that its military has to work and co-operate with the International Criminal Court, and take the necessary steps to bring the Sudanese president to international justice.

ROBERT WOOD, US STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN

The United States believes those who have committed atrocities should be brought to justice. We urge restraint on the part of all parties including the government of Sudan. Further violence against civilian Sudanese or foreign interests must be avoided and will not be tolerated.

DAVID MILIBAND, UK FOREIGN SECRETARY

We support the independent process that has led to this decision, which we fully respect. We have consistently urged the government of Sudan to co-operate with the court over existing arrest warrants. We deeply regret that the Government has not taken these allegations seriously or engaged with the court, and we repeat today our call for its co-operation.

ERIC CHEVALLIER, FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN

France earnestly requests that Sudan co-operate fully with the ICC to implement the decisions taken by the judges in line with the obligation placed upon it by Security Council resolution 1593.

The fight against impunity is inseparable from the search for peace in Darfur as it is in the rest of the world… There can be no other solution than a political one to the Darfur crisis.

4 Comments
  1. March 5, 2009 12:51 PM

    I would support, as stated here on this blog, military action by the United States in this matter. This is one of those times when our military might can be seen by the world as a just cause and that we are again ‘the good guys’. It would be a healing moment for international concerns, given our recent past. Going to a region to do what is right, with nothing to gain, but the end to genocide and suffering.

    But above all that it would be the right thing to do.

  2. Solly permalink
    March 5, 2009 12:03 PM

    A television news report last night suggested that this could mean hundreds of thousands of people starving to death as the aid organizations are expelled. (see also http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=1352170) As expressed above, unless someone has the cojones and there is action taken to enforce this warrant and arrest the bastards, this is a meaningless but not benign gesture. They might as well proclaim Sudan a nuclear-free zone and prohibit plastic grocery bags while they’re at it.

  3. Marcus permalink
    March 5, 2009 12:13 AM

    Thanks for always writing about Darfur. I think by your writing that you see only the wind in your face but I know those who care are on the right side. I thank you.

  4. Patrick permalink
    March 4, 2009 7:35 PM

    The real question is if Obama will commit comba troops to Darfur to secure the situation, kill those who stand in the way of food and medical supplies, and commit to a long term occupation and nation building. This could be no half-measure like Somalia. Without agressive rules of engagement, the action would likely get bogged down or fail. Who cares about an arrest warrant?

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