Sudan condemns UN Darfur resolution

Sudan has said the UN Security Council is undermining efforts to make peace in Darfur by voting to send war crimes suspects to the International Criminal Court.

    Tanzania voted in favour of the resolution but the US abstained

    Najib al-Khair Abd al-Wahab, the state minister for foreign affairs, said on Friday that he thought the vote was unfair and ill-advised. 

    "It undermines the government's quest for justice in Darfur through reconciliation," he said. 

    Sudan's ruling party called on the government to reject the resolution in its entirety.


    The National Congress "calls on the government and all its institutions to strongly resist this unjust resolution," said a party statement read by Information Minister Abd al-Basit Sibdrat.


    It added the resolution was devoid of "any basis for justice and objectivity and violates the principle of national sovereignty".
    The UN vote

    The Security Council late on Thursday voted 11-0, with four abstentions, to refer a sealed list of 51 people accused of crimes against humanity in Darfur to the International Criminal Court (ICC), after last-minute wrangling to allow exemptions for US citizens.

    "It undermines the government's quest for justice in Darfur through reconciliation"

    Najib al-Khair Abd al-Wahab, Sudanese state minister for foreign affairs

    Abd al-Wahab said the government would study the resolution and take appropriate action upon its implementation. He declined to say whether the government rejected or accepted it.


    Earlier, in a separate interview with Aljazeera, Sibdrat said the resolution would complicate the Darfur issue.


    "We trust the Sudanese courts," he said.


    "Since the US has said it does not recognise the ICC, Sudan does not either; so Sudan will not agree to let its nationals appear before it," Sibdrat said.


    Dangerous precedent


    Sibdrat said a dangerous precedent was being set because Americans would not appear before the ICC but citizens of developing countries were expected to do so.


    He criticised France for supporting the resolution while talking of brotherhood, equality and justice.


    Sibdrat said that convicting 50 or 100 men would not bring back security to Darfur. Instead, it would anger the tribes they belonged to, aggravating the unrest.


    He said the resolution smacked of double standards. 

    Sudan for the first time earlier this week said it had arrested 15 officials from the military and security forces for crimes including rape, killing civilians and burning villages.

    Embargo in force

    But analysts said it was too little, too late for the Security Council, which strengthened an arms embargo on the African nation and imposed a travel ban and assets freeze on those who violate a shaky ceasefire in remote Darfur.

    The resolution smacks of
    double-standards, says Sudan

    The United Nations says Sudan has done very little to disarm the militias accused of a widespread campaign of rape, killing and burning of non-Arab villages in Darfur during more than two years of rebellion by non-Arab groups.
    The rebels say the government discriminates against them in favour of Arab tribes.

    A team of investigators from the International Criminal Court has said they are ready to deploy to the Darfur region to evaluate crimes, following the passage of the Security Council resolution.

    Preparing cases

    A team of about two dozen investigators from the prosecutor's office would begin preparing cases against the alleged perpetrators of severe human rights violations, and possibly genocide, a court official said on Thursday.

    The Darfur conflict has killed
    many and displaced thousands 

    The court's chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, said he will contact the "relevant national and international authorities, including the United Nations and the African Union" to prepare their work.

    The prosecution case file will include material gathered by a special UN commission of inquiry, which compiled a list of 51 suspects submitted to the UN in January. 


    ICC investigators and forensic teams will likely work alongside African Union monitors in Darfur.

    The Darfur case, if conducted properly, would put the new court firmly on the map of international justice and clear the way for more cases via the United Nations, said Richard
    Goldstone, the first prosecutor at the tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

    The court was established to prosecute individual perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed after its creation in July 2002, but it has not yet tried a case.

    Prosecutors have said they expected to issue the first arrest warrants and begin trials later this year against suspects in Uganda and Congo, but officials said they would need more money to open such a large-scale investigation.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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