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Darfur: Latest Statements, News and Opinions
16 Jan 2012
Dear all,

Please find below information about recent developments related to the International Criminal Court's (ICC) investigation in Darfur, Sudan.

This message includes an ICC document (I) recent media statements by members of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court (II) and the latest news and opinions (III) related to the situation in Darfur.

Please also take note of the Coalition's policy on situations before the ICC (below), which explicitly states that the Coalition will not take a position on potential and current situations before the Court or situations under analysis. The Coalition, however, will continue to provide the most up-to-date information about the ICC.

Best regards,

CICC Secretariat
www.coalitionfortheicc.org

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I. ICC DOCUMENT

On 6 January 2011, the defence in the case The Prosecutor v. Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain and Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus requested ICC Trial Chamber IV to grant a temporary stay of proceedings.

READ THE FILING: "Defence Request for a Temporary Stay of Proceedings, ICC Public Document, ICC-02/05-03/09-274, 6 January 2012, http://www.icc-cpi.int/NR/exeres/8F20447E-6AA8-40EF-8F55-1F81267478D5.htm

II. COALITION MEMBERS' STATEMENTS

1. "Sudan: End Violence Against Peaceful Protesters," Human Rights Watch Press Release, 3 January 2012, http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/01/03/sudan-end-violence-against-peaceful-protesters

"(New York) - Sudanese security forces should stop using excessive force to disperse peaceful student protests, Human Rights Watch said today. Authorities should also immediately release detained activists, opposition members, and others arrested because of their political opinions, or charge them with appropriate crimes.

'Students have a right to hold peaceful protests without being attacked with batons and teargas,' said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. 'Security forces should uphold fundamental freedoms of speech and assembly and only use force when absolutely necessary.'....

Human Rights Watch and other groups have repeatedly raised concerns about the risk of ill-treatment and torture of detainees in national security custody. Sudan's National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) routinely uses its broad powers of arrest and detention to target government opponents and is known for ill-treatment and torture of detainees...."

2. "The ICC Prosecutor requests an arrest warrant against the Sudanese Minister of Defense," FIDH Press Release, 9 December 2011, http://www.fidh.org/The-ICC-Prosecutor-request-an

"The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and its Sudanese member organisation, the African Center for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) welcome the request, on December 2, 2011 of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) for an arrest warrant against Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein, current Sudanese Defense Minister, for charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes allegedly committed in Darfur.

Hussein was Sudan's Interior Minister and the President's special representative for Darfur during the period 2003-2004, a time of intense conflict...

'This indictment is particularly important as Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein is now leading the violent repression in South Khordofan and Blue Nile' said Mr. Sidiki KABA, FIDH Honorary President. 'It's a strong message to stop crimes in Sudan and the opening of negotiations for a political transition and the establishment of genuine democracy in this country' he added.

FIDH and ACJPS recall all States of their obligations to fully cooperate with the ICC for the execution of the arrest warrants concerning the situation in Sudan."

3. "Sudan Atrocities Continue, with China and Chad Enabling the Regime," Taimur Rabbani, Crimes Against Humanity Program, Human Rights First Press Release, 9 December 2011, http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/2011/12/09/sudan-atrocities-continue-with-china-and-chad-enabling-the-regime/

"Violence in Sudan has escalated in the months since the South seceded. The provinces along the southern border of Sudan, including the South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, are increasingly under attack by Khartoum forces,and conflict has spilled into parts of South Sudan. Meanwhile, in Sudan's west, the horrors in Darfur continue. A number of enabling countries have helped sustain the atrocities, with Khartoum reportedly perpetrating possible war crimes and crimes against humanity.

China and Chad have both recently strengthened their military and strategic relations with Khartoum - a move which will likely contribute to the destabilization, militarization, and commission of crimes against humanity in Darfur. The recent indiscriminate aerial bombings, the expulsion of humanitarian organizations, and the widespread and systematic murder of civilians and refugees in the region give reason to reassess the role third-party enablers play in the atrocities.

Earlier this year, a report issued by the U.N. Panel of Experts on the Sudan explained the ways in which Chinese ammunition flows with ease into Darfur, despite a U.N. arms embargo on the region. For example, when China supplies arms directly to Khartoum, it finalizes the sale with an end-user document stating that the arms won't be resold or imported into Darfur. However, the Sudanese government is in charge of confirming that the arms aren't brought into Darfur, and if pressed, can simply deny that the weapons were brought into the region....

As Chad and China continue enabling atrocities by supporting an unregulated flow of weapons to the region, the United States and international partners should reassess their strategy in the region. The administration should actively pressure China and Chad to stop sustaining the atrocities, and should promote the imposition of an arms embargo on Chad until sufficient safeguards are in place to prevent the flow of arms from Chad to Darfur. Princeton Lyman, the U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan, should make these issues central to his agenda."

4. "Press Statement: High Court Decision on Al Bashir Arrest Warrant," ICJ-Kenya Press Release, 2 December 2011, http://www.icj-kenya.org/index.php/more-news/435-pressstatement-al-bashir

"...On 28th November 2011, Justice Nicholas Ombija, a judge of the High Court of Kenya, delivered his ruling on an application for issuance of a provisional warrant of arrest against President Omar al Bashir. The application had been filed by the Kenyan Section of the International Commission of Jurists, (ICJ Kenya), and had joined both the Attorney General and the Minister for Internal Security as the Respondents....

ICJ Kenya makes the following observations:....

ICJ Kenya applauds Justice Ombija for the ruling. In the view of ICJ Kenya, the ruling has vindicated the rule of law that had come under serious threat following the visit to Kenya by President Bashir in August 2010, during which Kenya failed to arrest him, contrary to its domestic and international legal obligations....

The Kenyan judiciary has spoken with great clarity. The Kenya government has two choices. On the one hand, the Kenya government can uphold the decision of the Judiciary and act on Bashir if he comes to Kenya. On the other hand, the Kenya government can go on defying the Constitution, the courts, and the will of the people of Kenya, in order to protect a friend of a few people in the government."

5. "Sudan: ICC Warrant Request Advances Justice," Human Rights Watch Press Release, 2 December 2011, http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/12/02/sudan-icc-warrant-request-advances-justice

"(New York) - The request by the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor for an arrest warrant for Sudan's defense minister is an important step toward justice for serious crimes committed in Darfur, Human Rights Watch said today.

The prosecutor's request on December 2, 2011, is based on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the Darfur region of Sudan from August 2003 to March 2004. The defense minister, Abduraheem Hussein, was appointed to the post in 2005 and previously was interior minister. He was appointed the president's representative for Darfur in 2004, during the height of the conflict in the region.

'Defense Minister Hussein is implicated as a key figure in heinous abuses committed in Darfur, including attacks against civilians,' said Elise Keppler, senior international justice counsel at Human Rights Watch. 'The warrant request is an important step to advance justice for the many victims of crimes in Darfur.'...."

SEE ALSO:

6. "Libya should stand up for justice, not grant impunity to President
al-Bashir," No Peace Without Justice Press Release, 7 January 2012,
http://www.npwj.org/ICC/Libya-should-stand-justice-not-grant-impunity-President-
al-Bashir.html

7. "ICC Issues New Arrest Warrant in Darfur," Melissa Kaplan, The Global Citizen, Citizens for Global Solutions, 5 December 2011, http://globalsolutions.org/blog/2011/12/icc-issues-new-arrest-warrant-darfur

8."ICC Prosecutor Requests Arrest of Sudan's Defence Minister: Abdelrahim
Mohamed Hussein Suspected of Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Committed in Darfur from August 2003 to March 2004," CICC press release, 2 December 2011,
http://www.coalitionfortheicc.org/documents/CICC_MA_DARFUR_021211_FINAL__2_.pdf

9. "Kenya Issues Arrest Warrant for Bashir," Melissa Kaplan, The Global Citizen, Citizens for Global Solutions, 28 November 2011, http://globalsolutions.org/blog/2011/11/kenya-issues-arrest-warrant-bashir

10. "Letter Thanking Representative Wolf for Dropping Malawi from the MCC," Citizens for Global Solutions, 19 October 2011, http://www.coalitionfortheicc.org/documents/cgs_rep-wolf_thank-you-letter.pdf

11. "HRCC, CHRR, CEDEP, NGO DCN Call for the Arrest of Omar Al-Bashir," HRCC, CHRR, CEDEP and NGO DCN, 14 October 2011, http://www.coalitionfortheicc.org/documents/malawi_groups_statement_on_bashir.pdf

III. RELATED NEWS AND OPINIONS

1. "Sudan softens its stance on Kenya's warrant row," Sudan Tribune, 12 January 2012, http://www.sudantribune.com/Sudan-softens-its-stance-on-Kenya,41278
2. "UN says Sudan government blocking Darfur patrols," AFP, 12 January 2012, http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5g0gQiqdiNt-CgFAlNgLZimpt2NGw?docId=CNG.5c0bdc586be0de7b8c73b83f276bbf05.2f1
3. "Mass grave found in South Darfur," Radio Dabanga, 11 January 2012, http://www.radiodabanga.org/node/23790
4. "UN official notes promising steps on implementation of Darfur peace document," UN News Centre, 11 January 2012, http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=40920&Cr=Sudan&Cr1=
5. "Libya's nasty new friend," Los Angeles Times, 10 January 2012, http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-ed-libya-20120110,0,7988305.story?track=rss
6. "Sudan to establish special court for Darfur crimes and appoints new special prosecutor," Sudan Tribune, 10 January 2012, http://www.sudantribune.com/Sudan-to-establish-special-court,41255
7. "U.S. conveys to Libya its dissatisfaction over Sudanese president visit," Sudan Tribune, 9 January 2012, http://www.sudantribune.com/U-S-conveys-to-Libya-its,41242
8. "Darfur Rebels Seek Halt to ICC Case Against Them," AP, 6 January 2012, http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/darfur-rebels-seek-halt-icc-case-15305847#.Tw4M5qVAYoJ
9. "Sudan's Bashir skips South African's ANC centenary celebrations," Sudan Tribune, 6 January 2012, http://www.sudantribune.com/Sudan-s-Bashir-skips-South-African,41209
10. "Female Singers Stir Blood in Darfur," Blake Evans-Pritchard and Zakia Yousif, IWPR, 4 January 2012, http://iwpr.net/report-news/female-singers-stir-blood-darfur
11. "Beyond Darfur: The ICC and Sudan's Converging Regional Crises," Patrick Wegner, Justice in Conflict, 3 January 2012, http://justiceinconflict.org/2012/01/03/beyond-darfur-the-icc-and-sudans-converging-regional-crises/
12. "Sudan's Leader Raises a Storm Over Arrest Warrant Supported by Kenyan Court," Tom Maliti, The International Criminal Court Kenya Monitor, 29 December 2011, http://www.icckenya.org/2011/12/sudan’s-leader-raises-a-storm-over-arrest-warrant-rather-than-just-ignore-kenyan-court/
13. "Kenya must arrest Sudan's Bashir if he visits-court," Reuters, 20 December 2011, http://af.reuters.com/article/kenyaNews/idAFL6E7NK1W620111220
14. "Arresting Darfur suspects key to ending conflict: ICC prosecutor," Sudan Tribune, 15 December 2011, http://www.sudantribune.com/Arresting-Darfur-suspects-key-to,41009
15. "Uganda divided over calls for Al Bashir's arrest," Geof Magga, The Africa Report, 9 December 2011, http://www.theafricareport.com/index.php/2011120850177162/east-horn-africa/uganda-divided-over-calls-for-al-bashir-s-arrest-50177162.html
16. "Can the ICC Investigate Crimes in South Sudan?," Kevin Jon Heller, Opinio Juris, 7 December 2011, http://opiniojuris.org/2011/12/07/can-the-icc-investigate-crimes-in-south-sudan/
17. "New Warrant for Darfur, but Where is the Genocide Charge?," William Schabas, PhD Studies in Human Rights, 7 December 2011, http://humanrightsdoctorate.blogspot.com/2011/12/new-warrant-for-darfur-but-where-is.html
18. "Ocampo: Sudanese govt will be held accountable," Radio Dabanga, 6 December 2011, http://www.radiodabanga.org/node/21849
19. "AU opposes Kenyan ruling in favour of Bashir's ICC prosecution," Toby Collins, Sudan Tribune, 5 December 2011, http://ijcentral.org/news/au_opposes_kenyan_ruling_in_favour_of_bashirs_icc_prosecution/
20. "Reactions to request ICC arrest warrant," Radio Dabanga, 5 December 2011, http://www.radiodabanga.org/node/21791
21. "Sudan Wants Kenyan Court Order for Arrest of Bashir Reversed," Douglas Mpuga, VOA News, 4 December 2011, http://www.voanews.com/english/news/africa/Sudan-Wants-Kenyan-Court-Order-for-Arrest-of-Bashir-Reversed-134991718.html
22. "World court seeks arrest of Sudanese minister," Sarah Webb, Reuters, 3 December 2011, http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/World+court+seeks+arrest+Sudanese+minister/5805677/story.html#ixzz1fh0fkzB8
23. "Kenya-Sudan spat over Bashir warrant 'resolved'," AFP, 2 December 2011, http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gck7KgFAfyddlVDeovLv7_isNzpA?docId=CNG.b29b9b135996dff1204f4d15809adf61.821
24. "Lobby backs Bashir arrest warrant," Kevin Kelley, Daily Nation, 1 December 2011, http://www.nation.co.ke/News/Lobby+backs+Bashir+arrest+warrant/-/1056/1282494/-/view/printVersion/-/y66ac4/-/index.html

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CICC's policy on the referral and prosecution of situations before the ICC:

The Coalition for the ICC is not an organ of the court. The CICC is an independent NGO movement dedicated to the establishment of the International Criminal Court as a fair, effective, and independent international organization. The Coalition will continue to provide the most up-to date information about the ICC and to help coordinate global action to effectively implement the Rome Statute of the ICC. The Coalition will also endeavor to respond to basic queries and to raise awareness about the ICC's trigger mechanisms and procedures, as they develop. The Coalition as a whole, and its secretariat, do not endorse or promote specific investigations or prosecutions or take a position on situations before the ICC. However, individual CICC members may endorse referrals, provide legal and other support on investigations, or develop partnerships with local and other organizations in the course of their efforts.

Communications to the ICC can be sent to: ICC P.O. box 19519 2500 CM the Hague The Netherlands