President Bashir’s narrow escape from South Africa has shown that an executive decision by the African Union’s leaders, including the South African president, to refuse cooperation with the ICC, does not have legal force to override domestic law. It has shown that the ICC has no recourse if a government decides to ignore its obligations under the Rome Statute—only the domestic courts and authorities can enforce its decisions. It has embarrassed the African Union, which looks to be re-inventing itself as, in the words of the late Tanzanian leader Julius Nyerere describing its predecessor the Organisation of African Unity, a “trade union of dictators”. Most international sympathies will lie with the ICC: it has scored a moral point. But only the former and current staff of the office of the prosecutor, and others who followed the Bashir case closely, will be aware that the Sudanese president’s unseemly escape from South Africa also saved the ICC itself from what could have been severe embarrassment.Continue Reading →
Five years ago, the center of Khartoum was dominated by campaign posters showing President Omar al Bashir—and advertisements showing a handsome young man drinking a non-alcoholic beer called Champion. Some Sudanese joked that the election was a two-horse race between Bashir and Champion.
The National Congress Party won that election chiefly by mobilizing its 5.4 […]Continue Reading →
I asked Moreno Ocampo for clarification as to whether the Ma’aliya were indeed Janjaweed. He didn’t duck the question or say that his memory on this detail might have failed him. Rather, he insisted that yes they were Janjawiid and he had the evidence. When I pointed out that no literature on Darfur had ever, anywhere, made this claim, he dug his heels in and insisted that the details were confidential.Continue Reading →
Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan have long histories of mutual suspicion to overcome, from tensions over sharing the Nile to being on opposite sides of many of the region’s conflicts. But the turmoil on their borders threatens them all, and the Nile water deal is the first sign that all three recognize the need for cooperation to face those hazards.Continue Reading →
This seminar arose from the World Peace Foundation project of compiling an archive of documents relating to the peace processes in Sudan and South Sudan. The main objective of the seminar was to introduce the archive to scholars working on Sudan and South Sudan and on African peace processes. A second objective was to examine […]Continue Reading →
James Copnall was the BBC’s Sudan correspondent between 2009-2012, and reported on the events leading up to South Sudan’s independence, as well as the subsequent clashes between Sudan and South Sudan. His new book, which offers a compassionate, yet understated account of the two Sudans’ “common past, interwoven present and mutually dependent future” could not […]Continue Reading →
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