As the ink still dries on a preliminary deal between Sudan and Darfur’s largest rebel group, the situation at the Darfur peace talks in Doha, Qatar is changing rapidly. Here’s an update capturing what we are hearing from various sources.
Early this year, the United Nations sent its favorite dictator-whisperer, Nigerian diplomat Ibrahim Agboola Gambari, to Sudan, hoping to nudge the country's leader and alleged war criminal, President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, toward peace. Gambari, a veteran of U.N. missions from Zimbabwe to Myanmar, has developed his knack for counseling autocrats on the job -- by working for one, Sani Abacha, the notorious late strongman president of Nigeria, whom Gambari served as U.N. ambassador from 1990 to 1999.
Anywhere else, Gambari's Abacha connection might be a career breaker. But since joining the United Nations in 1999, Gambari has thrived, managing crises from Angola to Cyprus and raising money for Iraq's reconstruction. According to U.N. staffers, his old-school capabilities as a diplomat, coupled with his Muslim faith and eminent standing in Africa, make him a formidable mediator. The Sudan assignment provides an opportunity to test whether Gambari's experience and easy rapport with unsavory political players can translate into concrete progress on the main challenges of the day: a settlement in Darfur and resolution of the standoff over the South's quest for independence.
Today the Appeals Chamber at the International Criminal Court decided that the standard of proof the court used to reject the charge of genocide for Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir last March "was higher and more demanding than what is required." Read More »
STATEMENTS: Reaction to International Criminal Court Decision on Genocide and Bashir
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Enough Project and the Genocide Intervention Network today released a statement concerning the decision by the International Criminal Court, or ICC, which re-opens the possibility of Genocide charges against Sudan’s President Bashir.
Sam Bell, Executive Director of the Genocide Intervention Network commented, “Today's decision is technical and addresses a narrow, but potentially far-reaching, question about the threshold the prosecutor is required to meet in bringing genocide charges. No matter what ultimately comes of the genocide charge as it works it way back through the pre-trial chamber, President Bashir is already wanted for multiple counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. In the interests of peace and justice, he should be apprehended and tried."
John Norris, Executive Director of the Enough Project at the Center for American Progress, noted “The finding of the Appeal Chamber is sound, and makes it far more likely that President Bashir will eventually face a warrant for genocide in addition to the existing warrants for war crimes and crimes against humanity. As much as Bashir, his partners in the regime and some international diplomats would like the issue of genocide to go quietly away, today’s ruling is again a powerful reminder that we will not achieve lasting peace in Sudan without justice and accountability. We also hope that this well-reasoned ruling helps build additional support within the Obama Administration for resigning the Rome Statute.”
Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on crises in Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas of Africa affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a “3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. For more information, please visit www.enoughproject.org.
About Genocide Intervention Network – Genocide Intervention Network empowers individuals and communities with the tools to prevent and stop genocide. Currently focused on conflicts in Sudan, Burma and Democratic Republic of Congo, among other areas of concern, Genocide Intervention Network envisions a world in which the global community is willing and able to protect civilians from genocide and mass atrocities. The organization is building a permanent anti-genocide constituency, mobilizing the political will to prevent and stop genocide. For more information, please visit www.genocideintervention.net
Late last night, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement—the ruling party in southern Sudan and the southern partner in Sudan's Comprehensive Peace Agreement—announced its candidates for the two presidential contests set to take place in the country's April elections. Read More »
Chadian groups in North Darfur recently committed a series of attacks and abuses “reminiscent of the tactics employed by the janjaweed militias and government forces early in the Darfur conflict,” according to a brief from the African Center for Justice and Peace Studies. Read More »