Home » World

Status: Sudan, the United Nations and Resolution 1590

27 October 2009 No Comment

Earlier this year, the ICC issued a warrant of arrest for Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir, President of Sudan for war crimes and crimes against humanity. “He is suspected of being criminally responsible, as an indirect (co-)perpetrator, for intentionally directing attacks against an important part of the civilian population of Darfur, Sudan, murdering, exterminating, raping, torturing and forcibly transferring large numbers of civilians, and pillaging their property. This is the first warrant of arrest ever issued for a sitting Head of State by the ICC.” He remains free today.

For those who are interested in Darfur and the plight of the Sudanese people, yesterday, in compliance with Security Council Resolution 1590 of 2005, the United Nations released a status report on the “Comprehensive Peace Agreement in the Sudan.”

While some progress has been made on the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, important benchmarks have not been reached. The key outstanding issues — most notably elections and the referendums — are highly sensitive and will have the greatest impact on Sudanese political life. Resolving those issues will require deep commitment and extraordinary efforts by the parties. In this regard, I am concerned about the quality of the dialogue between the two parties. The key to the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement remains the relationship between National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), and the Agreement must be implemented in spirit as well as according to the letter if the immense work undertaken is to be sustainable. I encourage the parties to strengthen their partnership and work in good faith to overcome the final obstacles.

On the issue of security for example:

The security situation in Southern Sudan remains unstable, particularly in Jonglei, Upper Nile and Lakes States, where as many as 54 clashes resulted in the deaths of at least 316 people during the reporting period and represented major security and human rights concerns in Southern Sudan. On 2 August 2009, inter-tribal tensions erupted when a group of Murle attacked Lou Nuer villages in Akobo County (Jonglei State); during the attack 161 people were killed and 29 were wounded. The majority of those killed were women and children. On 23 August, 66 people were killed in a cattle raid between the Luac and Dinka tribes in the area of Rumbek (Lakes State), including 15 members of the Southern Sudan Police Service and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA).

Read full report.

Read Resolution 1590 (2005).

For some background see: U.N. Darfur Report: Genocidal Intent in the Sudan

The Darfur Report, issued by the International Committee, charged by the United Nation Security Council, to investigate crimes in Sudan, concluded that “the Government of the Sudan has not pursued a policy of genocide.” But early media leaks have failed to tell the whole story.

According to the 176 page Report of the International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur to the United Nations Secretary-General, released on Monday, “The Commission does recognize that in some instances individuals, including Government officials, may commit acts with genocidal intent. [Emphasis added] Whether this was the case in Darfur, however, is a determination that only a competent court can make on a case by case basis.” Cited under the Commission’s “Accountability Mechanism” section, the International Commission “strongly recommends that the Security Council immediately refer the situation of Darfur to the International Criminal Court.”