Title: SLM-SR statement in response to ICC Chief Prosecutor Suspension of Darfur Investigations
Author: SudaneseOnline Press Release
Date: 02-08-2015, 06:47 PM
12:47 PM Feb 8,2015
SudaneseOnline Press Release
The Sudan Liberation Movement – Second Revolution (SLM-SR) notes, with regret, the statement by ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on the outstanding warrants in the case of Darfur and her decision to suspend further investigation in this case. We also note that this decision does not represent closure of the case, but rather an urgent appeal for supportive action to be taken on the part of the Security Council. We second that request and call on the Security Council to take urgent concerted efforts to enforce the outstanding warrant against President Omar al Bashir and the other indictees of the court.
Today, Darfur stands at a crossroads. Violence is now steadily increasing with the population under constant threat of attack. In North Darfur over recent days, whole families have been murdered where they were by government militias, as they tried to bring in the harvest. Women and children have been killed in a bid to terrorize the local population and to drive them from their lands. The symbolic value of terrorizing people within close proximity of El Fasher, the headquarters of UNAMID, underscores the belief by the Government and its militias that they are beyond the reach of the law. While we understand the frustration of the Chief Prosecutor, we ask her to revisit her decision to suspend the case. We contend that the ICC has an important role to play in protecting the population of Darfur and showing them that there is an international body prepared to stand up for their rights, even if the current circumstances surrounding the apprehension of President and the other indictees are challenging.
From our perspective, it is also important to understand that justice is the product of patience. It has long and deep roots which need time to grow. Thus it is bears repeating that what stands today as the ICC is the product not simply of the Rome Statute, but of a long history from the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials and the successive bodies of jurisprudence that have been built up in the wake of tribunals in for the former Yugoslavia and the ICTR for Rwanda. What exists today in The Hague is a testament to the belief that impunity for crimes against humanity – be it in Europe, Africa or elsewhere – will not be tolerated. Justice and accountability need perseverance, memory and dedication to endure over the long term. Talk about peace, without the requisite action only gives energy to tyrants as they plan their next move.
The value of a long-term approach to accountability can also be seen in the case of Argentina which is today leading the world in the innovative search for justice. This stands in complete contrast to the late 70’s and early 1980s, when Argentina was a dark place indeed, in the grip of a dirty war which employed extremely brutal tactics. The current ‘Mega-cause ESMA’ trials, in which sixty-eight persons from the military face prosecution for crimes against humanity, attempt to bring justice to 789 cases brought in relation to crimes which occurred during the military dictatorship between 1976 and 1983, that include incommunicado detention and torture, death flights where victims were thrown out of planes en mass, and cases where people were simply ‘disappeared’. In many of the cases bodies have never been found, presenting a challenge from an evidentiary standpoint. Nonetheless this trial, which is extremely important in the history of the Argentine nation, is attempting secure justice, decades after the crimes occurred. It is not an accident that today Argentina leads the world in this way. It is the result of a long road that started in 1985 with a young prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo, who assisted in the Trial of the Juntas. This road has been fraught with difficulties and disappointments, but the changes to Argentinian society today are built on the dedication of the people and on developments that started a long time ago.
These points illustrate that justice is not always immediate or easy. The people of Darfur understand that it will take time to bring the perpetrators of violence in their region to book. However, the acquiescence of the international community to the suspension of the warrants and lack of action by Herve Ladsous, head of UN mission, will not only have the effect of demoralizing people who have already suffered enough, it will also provide a green light to Sudan and its supporters who seek to destabilize the entire Sahel and the wider region around them.
As a result of the lack of action taken by UNAMID, we call for an independent Commission of Inquiry and fact-finding to establish why ongoing atrocities are not reported and why there is a noticeable lack of action being taken. We ask that the Security Council take the lead on this matter with a report back within 3 months. We ask for an explanation as to why the expulsion of UN personnel has been met with no substantive action. We consider that this matter simply emboldens the Government of Sudan to carry on with its current policies of killing and maiming, while the world stands by and watches. Further, in view of the current upsurge in violence we once again request that a no-fly zone is established in Darfur. Aerial bombardment is ongoing and a monitored no-fly zone is the only method by which civilian safety can be improved.
The Sudan Liberation Movement, Second Revolution is committed to defending the rights of the people in Darfur. We call on all parties concerned to join us in this struggle for justice both today and in the longer term. Please contact us for more information:
Abdellatife Abdulla Ismail,
Deputy Chairman. Sudan liberation Movement Second Revelation
Email: mailto:[email protected]@yahoo.co.uk;
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