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ISS Conference Tackles Impact of ICC Arrest Warrants

The South Africa-based Institute for Security Studies (ISS) this week held an international conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to discuss the possible consequences and implications of the International Criminal Court’s arrest warrants for senior Sudanese officials, including the warrant for President Al-Bashir.The conference was aimed at African policy-makers, political leadership and civil society actors working in the fields of peace and security and international justice.

Paula Roque is a senior analyst with the ISS. From South Africa’s political capital, Pretoria. She told VOA’s Akwei Thompson there the conference was held in four sessions.

“The first panel was looking at the UN resolution that referred the case to the ICC and looking at the obligations of parties to the Rome Statute and no-state parties.”

Roque said the panel looked at the legal implications and duties of members of the UN Security Council as well. Partcipants from the ICC and an international lawyer from the International tribunal for Rwanda took them through all the legal implications and also gave the panel the legal perspective of “where we stand today with the arrest warrant.”

The other three panels looked individually at the impact the arrest warrant would have on Darfur; the north-south dynamics and the prospects for a continued political transition and the Comprehensive Peace Agreement; as well as new options for mediation.

The ISS analyst said the conference also addressed the question of the legality of the warrants raised by a group of Sudanese scholars this week.