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Sudan says UN resolution jeopardizes Darfur peace efforts

4/8/2005 11:12am

NAIROBI, Apr 7, 2005 (Xinhua) -- The Sudanese government said here Thursday that the UN Security Council's resolution to bring individuals suspected of war crimes in conflict ravaged Darfur before an international court will have a negative effect on current efforts to bring peace and stability to the country. .

According to a statement from the Sudanese Embassy in Nairobi, Khartoum vehemently rejected a resolution vowing to try culprits outside the country as "unfair and ill-timed" insisting that the Sudanese judiciary was capable of trying all individuals suspected of war crimes in war-ravaged western region of Darfur.

"The UN resolution is in direct disregard to all international norms and the ongoing constructive efforts exerted by the African Union (AU) in collaboration with Sudan government that has significantly stabilized the situation in the region," the statement said.

The Sudanese government regretted that the resolution came at a time when the country was working to translate the southern peace agreement into reality.

The implementation of the peace agreement, signed on January 9, is expected to contribute to the resolution of conflicts in other regions of the country.

"The UN resolution that came a few days before the arrival in Khartoum of a very high delegation from (southern rebels) the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) to consolidate and discuss the implementation of peace agreement, deliberately ignored the position of the African Group in New York and refused even to examine the initiative presented by Nigeria as the current chair of the AU," the statement said.

The UN Security Council voted last Thursday 11-0 to refer Darfur suspects to the International Criminal Court (ICC), two months after an international inquiry found evidence of war crimes in the region.

The move clears the way for the Hague-based court to prosecute those behind the murder, rape and pillaging in the country's western Darfur, after weeks of tense diplomatic haggling over how to bring the guilty to justice.

But in a statement released here, Sudan expressed commitment to resolving the Darfur crisis through peaceful means under the aegis of the pan African body of AU and slammed the UN Security Council resolution as a violation of national sovereignty.

"The Sudanese government reiterates its unequivocal commitment to address the situation in Darfur through peaceful means under the auspices of the AU, strongly condemns the UN resolution and the sinister motives behind it that is targeting its sovereignty and integral unity," the statement said.

Hundreds of thousands took to the streets of the Sudanese capital Tuesday in a demonstration against UN demands for war crime suspects to be handed over for trial by the ICC.

Sudan has set up two committees to handle issues growing out of the recent UN Security Council resolution.

A UN panel prepared a list of some 50 suspects it submitted to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan who subsequently passed it on to the ICC in what amounts to a kick-off of the process leading to trial of suspects in the Darfur saga.

However, Sudanese President Omar el-Bashir has vowed not to hand over any of his compatriots for trial abroad, the first of its kind for Sudanese nationals.

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