News / Africa

Former War Crimes Prosecutor Expects Enforcement of Sudan Arrest Warrants

The international arrest warrants against the Sudanese leader makes President Bashir the first head of state to be charged by the ICC. But, Mr. Bashir described the warrant against him as “worthless.”
The international arrest warrants against the Sudanese leader makes President Bashir the first head of state to be charged by the ICC. But, Mr. Bashir described the warrant against him as “worthless.”

Multimedia

Audio
  • David Crane, professor of law at Syracuse University and former chief prosecutor for the U.N. War Crimes Tribunal for Sierra Leone spoke with Clottey

TEXT SIZE - +
Peter Clottey

The former chief prosecutor for the U.N. War Crimes Tribunal for Sierra Leone said African countries have the political will to enforce the arrest warrants issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir.

David Crane, professor of law at Syracuse University, said he was impressed and encouraged by the positive response and contribution of African countries at a recent two-week conference that was held in Uganda’s capital, Kampala.

The conference reviewed the Rome Statute focusing on the crime of aggression.

Crane said there is a need for justice for the people of Darfur.

“The arrest warrant related to the genocide charge captures the entire event that took place in Darfur and the Sudan. It is important for justice that all of the crimes that were committed in Darfur actually be charged so that the full truth can come out. So, I think this is a rounding out, a natural extension of what has taken place in Darfur,” Crane said.

Crane’s comments came after the Hague-based court issued another arrest warrant Monday against Mr. Bashir for the crime of genocide against the people of Darfur, a charge supporters of the Sudanese leader deny.

In a statement, the Hague-based court said, “there are reasonable grounds to believe him (Mr. Bashir) responsible for three counts of genocide committed against the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups that include genocide by killing, genocide by causing serious bodily or mental harm and genocide by deliberately inflicting on each target group conditions of life calculated to bring about the group's physical destruction.”

The ICC issued an international arrest warrant in March, 2009 against President Bashir over his alleged role in the Darfur conflict.

Judges of the court issued a warrant against President Bashir on seven counts, five for crimes against humanity, including murder, extermination, forcible transfer, torture and rape and two for war crimes, including intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population or individual civilians, and pillaging. Supporters of the Sudanese leader have rejected all seven counts.

The international arrest warrant against the Sudanese leader makes President Bashir the first head of state to be charged by the ICC. But, Mr. Bashir described the warrant against him as “worthless.”

The United Nations estimates that 35,000 people have so far been killed in the Darfur conflict. But, Khartoum puts the death toll at only 10,000.

The Sudanese government is currently holding peace talks with the Darfur-based Liberty and Justice Movement in Qatar’s capital, Doha, aimed at reaching a peace deal by mid-July.

But, observers say the additional arrest warrant could undermine the ongoing talks. They also contend that the upcoming referendum scheduled for January 9, 2011 for residents in the semi-autonomous south Sudan could be derailed.

But, Crane said, despite concerns, there is a need for justice for the people of Darfur.

“At this point in time, the politicians and diplomats will certainly be a bit concerned because it goes to the issue of peace versus justice. But, overall, at the end of the day, it has to be justice. We also have to account for all of the crimes that are taking place in Darfur. So, the genocide charge must stand,” Crane said.

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid