4 March 2009
STANDING UP TO ICC
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,
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.
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.
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
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