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Sudan war crime charges expected at ICC

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I believe that ICC has stepped into the bleach while the United Nations Security Council is unable to protect peoples from rogue states of dictatorship like Sudan, Burma, Zimbabwe, etc. Let me post the latest compilation of such stories.

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BBC News

President Omar al-Bashir gestures to pro-government demonstrators

Sudan says an indictment would harm any prospects of peace

The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is to unveil the latest charges from his investigation into war crimes in Darfur.

Luis Moreno-Ocampo is expected to seek an arrest warrant for Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, for alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

It would be the first such indictment against a serving head of state.

The judges at the ICC will take at least six weeks to decide whether the prosecutor has a case.

Sudan’s government does not recognise the ICC. It has labelled Mr Moreno-Ocampo a criminal, and warned that any indictment could stall peace talks.

The BBC’s Laura Trevelyan, at the Hague in Holland, says that while some will welcome this move as a victory for justice, others fear it will undermine the peace process in Darfur and spark further violence in Sudan.

Alert raised

On Sunday thousands of people rallied in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, in support of President Bashir and denouncing the anticipated charges.

Sudanese pro-government protest in Khartoum, 13 July 2008

Thousands of pro-government protestors took to the streets

The demonstrators gathered outside an office where Mr Bashir was chairing an emergency meeting.

Thousands of UN and AU peacekeepers are deployed in Darfur and a spokeswoman for the force has said the security alert for its staff has been raised.

The joint United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (Unamid), which has 9,000 troops in Darfur, has been struggling to contain the violence there.

It has raised the security alert for its staff to “level four”, which stops short of evacuating all staff, but relocates foreign workers who are not directly involved in relief or security operations.

UN officials fear that anti-government groups in the south and the west will be emboldened if they perceive President Bashir as weakened.

The Janjaweed Arab militia has been accused of ethnic cleansing and genocide against black African civilians, after rebel groups took up arms in Darfur in 2003.

The UN estimates that some 300,000 people have died as a result of of the conflict. More than two million people have fled their villages.

The Khartoum authorities have been accused of supporting the campaign and protecting those responsible for atrocities. The government denies this.

The ICC was set up in 2002 as the world’s first permanent war crimes court.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7504640.stm

More:

Sudan President to Face Darfur Charges
Wall Street Journal –
By CHARLES FORELLE BRUSSELS — The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court is expected Monday to charge Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir with crimes against humanity for allegedly directing the campaign of rape and murder that has plagued

Darfur doctor: ‘I was raped and taunted as a black dog’ Times Online
Sudan Asks for Arab League Meeting on ICC Indictments Voice of America
Voice of AmericaVoice of AmericaVoice of AmericaAFP
all 1,523 news articles »

REVIEW & OUTLOOK

The U.N. and Comrade Bob

July 14, 2008;

As with Darfur and Burma, the depredations of Zimbabwe dictator Robert Mugabe have become a target of the world’s moral outrage. Also like those two countries, the chances of anyone doing something about Zimbabwe are falling into the diplomatic abyss that is the United Nations.

The Bush Administration has been prodding the Security Council to impose an arms embargo and pass financial and travel sanctions that would pressure the Mugabe regime to sponsor honest elections and stop killing democratic opponents. The U.S. persuaded Burkina Faso, currently an African representative on the Council, to sign on.

[Robert Mugabe]

But at the moment of truth on Friday, Russia and China vetoed the sanctions on grounds that they amounted to interference in Zimbabwe’s internal affairs. Libya and Vietnam joined Russia and China, no doubt as fellow dictatorships that don’t want outside attention on their domestic practices. And in a display of bizarre solidarity with Mr. Mugabe, South Africa also voted against the sanctions. (South Africa has long ago forfeited whatever moral authority it had on world affairs from the Nelson Mandela era.)

As in Darfur and Burma, the pattern is the same: The world’s media report on a marauding regime terrorizing its neighbors or its own people. The world’s foreign policy elite express their dismay, with liberal internationalists and European nations urging President Bush to “show some leadership” and “do something” through the U.N. The Bush Administration does precisely that. Yet in the event, China and Russia veto and nothing happens.

In essence, the U.N. has become a dictator protection racket. Intervention by any country outside U.N. auspices is deemed to be illegitimate, as with the “coalition of the willing” in Iraq. But when a security problem is brought before the Security Council, that committee of the unwilling inevitably fails to act. The exceptions are when Russia, China or Europe wants to use the U.N. as a tool to limit unilateral action by Israel or the U.S.

Barack Obama has been campaigning on the virtues of the U.N. and its collective diplomacy, but we haven’t seen any comment from his campaign on this latest U.N. failure. Not that it would matter much if he did say anything. Mr. Mugabe knows that the only action with any chance of challenging his rule in Harare would be a U.S.-led intervention, and Mr. Obama has said he really dislikes that sort of thing.

So the people of Zimbabwe are left to the brutal mercy of Comrade Bob. British Foreign Secretary David Miliband called Russia’s veto “incomprehensible” — which only shows that he hasn’t been paying attention. At the U.N., it’s business as usual.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121599305721549429.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

July 14, 2008 at 5:52 am

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