STATEMENT: 4 March 2009


The decision by the government of Sudan to refuse to recognise the authority of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and its dismissal of the court's arrest warrant for president al-Bashir is to be applauded.

In adopting the position it has, the government of Sudan is asserting the right to self-determination of all nation-states and taking a stand against the dangerous trend towards undemocratic, supranational governance.

The ICC has no moral, legal or political mandate to indict and put on trial citizens from countries that have not voluntarily affiliated to it. In claiming universal jurisdiction, the court is proclaiming its right, and the right of the west European countries that effectively control and direct it - to interfere in the internal affairs of sovereign countries.

Sudan is a country that had to struggle to liberate itself from British colonial rule.
Now it is being subjected to a new type of western imperialism. It is worth noting that the ICC chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, has so far only targeted Africans for investigation and indictment.

ICCwatch hopes that those African and Middle Eastern countries who have become state parties to the Rome Statute will now reconsider their positions and choose to disaffiliate from the organisation.

The Sudanese government has been politically targeted by the ICC. The chief prosecutor has made repeated wild and unsubstantiated allegations against the president and ministers and has refused to launch an investigation into war crimes committed by rebel groups in Darfur, including the enforced recruitment of children as soldiers. In May 2008 the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) launched an attack against the capital, Khartoum, in which 200 people were killed. 91 child JEM soldiers were captured and later released by the Sudanese authorities. The United Nations and the Waging Peace campaign have estimated that between 7-10,000 children have been forced into fighting for the rebels.

Despite convincing evidence of this war crime having been committed by those opposed to the government, the ICC has refused to take action. It is ironic that the first ICC defendant, Thomas Lubanga of the Congo, is on trial for having allegedly recruited child soldiers.

ICCwatch believes that the stand taken by the Sudanese government regarding the arrest warrants represents the start of a much needed resistance to the ICC and the dangerous phenomenon of transnational




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