Johannesburg, South Africa - Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's job has just gotten harder. Just as he hits the road on a three-week tour to convince rich Western nations to end their sanctions against Zimbabwe and to send more aid money, Zimbabwe's president, Robert Mugabe, is back home in Harare, reminding the world that he doesn't pay attention to their rules.
At a regional summit of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) held this week in Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, Mr. Mugabe has held meetings with, among others, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, the first sitting president to ever face an arrest warrant for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
June 4, 2009 (WASHINGTON) – Several rights groups and activists regretted that US President Barack Obama did not tackle questions of human rights, freedom of the press or the situation for millions of displaced people from Darfur in his speech before an audience at Cairo University.
In his 55 minute speech in the capital of Egypt, Obama mentioned something about Darfur, but did not address the ongoing bilateral dialogue between the US and the Government of Sudan.
The Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno-Ocampo, is this week providing an update to the Security Council regarding the recent ICC’s investigation in Darfur, Sudan. This is the first briefing following the ICC judges’ issuance of an arrest warrant for the President of Sudan, Omar Hassan Ahmad Al-Bashir, in response to allegations of attacks and human rights violations on civilians in Darfur.
The Coalition’s for the ICC’s (CICC’s) Omar Ismail, Advisor of the ENOUGH project based in El-Fashir, Sudan said “The Prosecutor is right. Al-Bashir should be brought to justice. We must end this –it has been six years. It is the government of Sudan against its own people with the intention to do harm. I know the women who were raped. The marching orders were given by Sudan, dismembered bodies were thrown in water resources.”
Domestic reaction to President Obama's Cairo speech is filtering in, and given its sweep and ambition, the reviews are decidedly mixed.
Senator John F. Kerry, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, called Obama's speech "blunt" but necessary to put the United States and Muslim countries on a new path.
"President Obama's blunt, honest address in Cairo was absolutely critical in signaling a new era of understanding with Muslim communities worldwide," Kerry said in a statement. "He shattered stereotypes on both sides, reminded the west and the Muslim world of our responsibilities, and reaffirmed one of America's highest ideals and traditional roles -- that those who seek freedom and democracy, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, have no greater friend than the United States of America.