|Pres Bashir and Pres Zuma|
The South African political leadership seems to rather opt for "brotherhood", protecting one another, shying away from accountability and simply what is right.
SA starts process to withdraw from International Criminal Court
South Africa has decided to withdraw from the International Criminal Court following a dispute last year over a visit by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir who is wanted by the tribunal for alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
The charges against Bashir stem from the bloodshed in Sudan's western Darfur region which began in 2003 when rebels took up arms against the government in Khartoum, accusing it of discrimination and neglect. The United Nations says 300 000 people have died in the conflict and 2.7 million have fled their homes.
In June 2015, Bashir went to South Africa to attend an African Union summit but the government didn't arrest him. A court ordered him to remain in the country while judges deliberated on whether he should be arrested on the ICC warrants, but Bashir left for Sudan before the court ruled that he should indeed be arrested. The Supreme Court of Appeal later described the government's failure to arrest Bashir as "disgraceful conduct".
BREAKING: South Africa begins process to exit International Criminal Court
South Africa has begun the process of withdrawing from the International Criminal Court by notifying the United Nations on Thursday that it intended to revoke its ratification of the Rome Statute, which established the court, as a result of the court’s perceived biases against African nations. However, without parliamentary approval, it’s unclear if the government has the authority to unilaterally withdraw.
South Africa has begun the process of exiting the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Daily Maverick has learned. In New York on Thursday, South African diplomats delivered a formal notice of withdrawal from the Rome Statute to the United Nations. This is the formal beginning of a year-long process to complete withdrawal.
EU Parliament calls for international investigation on use of chemical weapons in Darfur
The European Union Parliament Thursday condemned the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Sudanese government forces in Jebel Marra area and called for an international investigation on the matter.
Last week Amnesty International reported that over 200 people had been killed in Darfur Jele Marra area by banned chemical weapons since January 2016. But the government denied the claims.
The group published pictures and accounts of 56 witnesses of the alleged chemical attack who spoke about "poisonous smoke" vomit blood, struggle to breathe and watch as their skin falls off.
The European Union "deplores the use of chemical weapons against civilians in the Jebel Marra area of Darfur by the Sudanese Government and highlights that this is a serious violation of international norms and also a war crime," said a resolution endorsed by all the seven groups of EU parliament.
The parliament "recalls that Sudan is a party to the Chemical Weapons Convention and calls for an international investigation into these allegations led by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW); reminds the Sudanese authorities of their responsibility to protect human rights."
Sudan : European Parliament calls for transparency and safeguards in migration cooperation
On 6 October 2016, the European Parliament (EP) adopted an urgency resolution condemning the ongoing unlawful killings, abductions, gender-based and sexual violence in the conflict areas, notably in Darfur, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, including aerial bombardment and chemical weapons used by Sudanese forces against civilians. The resolution condemned serious human rights violations taking place outside Sudan’s conflict areas, including the arbitrary arrest and detention of activists and the ongoing detention of human rights defenders and journalists, calling for prompt investigations into all allegations of torture, ill-treatment, arbitrary detention and excessive use of force.
European Parliament resolution of 6 October 2016 on Sudan
On 6 October 2016, the European Parliament issued a resolution on Sudan. Full details contained in the link above. Below is an extract of what Sudan stands accused of. The list of evils is almost endless.
What Sudan stands accused of. This resolution was signed by hundreds of the Members of the European Union.
A. whereas the conflict in Darfur has been going on for 13 years and has claimed over 300 000 lives, with Sudanese Government forces continuing to attack civilians, especially in Jebel Marra; whereas ongoing indiscriminate bombing of civilians, including unlawful attacks by Sudanese forces on villages in South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur, has resulted in casualties and the destruction of civilian infrastructure;
B. whereas the 2010 National Security Act granted the Sudanese Government sweeping powers to routinely hold detainees in solitary confinement, without charge and for prolonged periods, and organisations have been forcibly closed and raided;
C. whereas, as stated in the UN Universal Periodic Review of 21 September 2016, Sudan reaffirmed its commitment to acceding to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance;
D. whereas human rights violations and abuses are escalating in Darfur, notably in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, including those involving extrajudicial killings, the excessive use of force, abduction of civilians, acts of sexual- and gender-based violence against women, violations and abuses against children, and arbitrary arrests and detentions;
E. whereas civic space for opposition political parties, civil society and human rights defenders is restricted in Sudan; whereas it is reported that the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) constantly harasses, targets and prosecutes human rights defenders, students activists and political opponents for undertaking their legitimate activities; whereas so far this year numerous civil society activists have been arbitrarily arrested, including four representatives of Sudanese civil society intercepted by security officials at Khartoum International Airport on their way to a high-level human rights meeting with diplomats that took place in Geneva on 31 March 2016;
F. whereas human rights groups have uncovered credible evidence of chemical weapon attacks on civilians by Sudanese Government forces, with villagers from the Jebel Marra region of Darfur revealing the gruesome effects of suspected chemical weapons attacks, the most recent of which occurred on 9 September 2016 in Gamarah village; whereas there have also been reported attacks by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a Sudanese military unit composed of former pro-government militia under the command of the NISS;
G. whereas on 29 February 2016 the NISS brutally raided the Khartoum Centre for Training and Human Development (TRACKS), a civil society organisation, following which the director Khalfálah Alafif Muktar and activists Arwa Ahmed Elrabie, Al-Hassan Kheiry, Imani-Leyla Raye, Abu Hureira Abdelrahman, Al-Baqir Al-Afif Mukhtar, Midhat Afifadeen and Mustafa Adam were arrested and charged with criminal conspiracy and waging war against the state, charges which carry the death penalty; whereas the director is reported to be in poor health and family visits are not permitted;
H. whereas the Sudanese authorities impose severe restrictions on the freedom of religion; whereas threats against church leaders and the intimidation of Christian communities have continued at an accelerated pace over the past years; whereas Czech Christian aid worker Petr Jašek, Sudanese pastors Hassan Abduraheem Kodi Taour, Kuwa Shamal and Darfuri graduate student Abdulmonem Abdumawla Issa Abdumawla have been detained for nine months already by the NISS and are facing trial on charges of highlighting alleged Christian suffering in war-ravaged areas of Sudan; whereas in recent years there has been an increase in trials on charges of apostasy and subsequent death sentences;
I. whereas the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) were recently deployed along the northern border of Sudan in order to counter the flow of irregular migrants; whereas on 31 August 2016 the Commander of the RSF declared that his forces were patrolling this border with Egypt and Libya, and in so doing claimed that Sudan was fighting illegal migration on behalf of the EU; whereas the EU Delegation in Sudan denied this support on 6 September 2016;
J. whereas, on 24 August 2016, 48 potential Sudanese asylum-seekers were deported from Italy to Sudan; whereas in May 2016 the Sudanese authorities deported over 400 Eritreans who had been arrested en route to Libya;
K. whereas the Sudanese authorities disproportionately convict women and girls of ill-defined crimes; whereas women are faced with systemic discrimination and the imposition of corporal punishment and flogging for vaguely defined dress code violations;
L. whereas the ‘Sudan Call’ co-signatories (representatives from political and armed opposition parties, including the National Umma Party, the National Consensus Forces and the Sudan Revolutionary Front) are committed to working towards ending the conflicts raging in different regions of Sudan and towards legal, institutional and economic reforms;
M. whereas two arrest warrants for President al-Bashir were issued in 2009 and 2010 by the International Criminal Court (ICC), accusing him of responsibility for war crimes, crimes against humanity and acts of genocide; whereas, although Sudan is not a state party to the Rome Statute, UN Security Council Resolution 1593 (2005) requires it to cooperate with the ICC, and Sudan must therefore comply with the ICC arrest warrant;
N. whereas in June 2008 the EU Foreign Ministers meeting in the General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC) concluded ‘that Council stands ready to consider measures against individuals responsible for not-cooperating with the ICC’;
O. whereas the EU is currently implementing a project on ‘better migration management’ with Sudan;