Thursday, March 29, 2012

Outrage Over Iraq Welcoming of Wanted War Criminal Bashir

Wanted Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir



(Washington, DC) – United to End Genocide denounced Iraq for allowing the visit of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, and called upon the United States to express outrage over the visit. Bama Athreya, United to End Genocide’s Executive Director, made the following statement:
“Is this what the United States went to war in Iraq for -- to allow a wanted war criminal to visit? The U.S. government should issue a statement of outrage.
“This is the third visit of Bashir to a close U.S. ally in recent months and should be seen as a slap in the face to U.S. standing, if not outright U.S. commitment to justice for one of the world’s worst criminals. Nor are the consequences of this simply historical. Even today Omar al-Bashir continues to drop bombs indiscriminately on the people of Sudan and to put hundreds of thousands at risk of starvation by refusing to allow humanitarian aid into his own country.

“Bashir should not be visiting countries like Malawi, Libya, and Iraq that the United States has so robustly supported. The next headline we see should not be about a war criminal being welcomed by a U.S. ally, but rather that Bashir is welcomed to the seat of the International Criminal Court in the Hague.”


On March 28th, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir traveled to Baghdad, Iraq for an Arab League Summit. The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued arrest warrants for Bashir for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide in Darfur, where over 300,000 people have died since 2003. Iraq is not a signatory to the International Criminal Court so does not have a legal obligation to arrest Bashir, however such visits have resulted in diplomatic pressure and canceled visits to non-signatory countries in the past. The United States recently announced that it is suspending $350 million in aid to Malawi under the Millennium Challenge Corporation, citing deteriorating economic and political conditions, but also concern for Malawi allowing a visit by Omar al-Bashir as a contributing factor. Ongoing violence against civilians in Abyei, South Kordofan, Blue Nile, and Darfur regions of Sudan displaced over half a million people last year and USAID’s Famine Early Warning System has warned of hundreds of thousands of people being at risk of emergency hunger levels one step below famine as the Sudanese government continues to block access for international humanitarian aid in South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

The Save Darfur Coalition and Genocide Intervention Network are now United to End Genocide. The organization remains committed to its work to end the crisis in Darfur and bring peace to all of Sudan as well as to end violence in other areas of mass atrocities. The merger creates the world's largest anti-genocide activist organization, with a membership base of hundreds of thousands of committed activists, an unparalleled nationwide student movement, more than 190 faith-based, advocacy and human rights partner organizations, and a network of institutional investors collectively representing more than $3 trillion in assets under management.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The AU Welcomes the Progress Made In the Negotiations Between Sudan And South Sudan

15 Mar 2012 12:47 Africa/Lagos


ADDIS ABABA, March 15, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Mr. Jean Ping, welcomes the agreement reached by the Government of the Republic of Sudan and the Government of the Republic of South Sudan, on the ‘Framework Agreement on the Status of Nationals of the other State' and the Agreement on the Demarcation of the Boundary and Related Issues', in Addis Ababa on 12 March 2012, under the auspices of the African Union High level Implementation Panel (AUHIP).

The ‘Agreement on the Demarcation of the Boundary and Related Issues' establishes institutional mechanisms responsible for overseeing and carrying out the demarcation process of Africa's longest land border.

The ‘Framework Agreement on the Status of Nationals of the other State' sets up a Joint High Level Committee, which shall oversee the adoption and implementation of joint measures relating to nationals of the other State. The Agreement also accords nationals of each state the freedom of residence, freedom of movement, freedom to undertake economic activity, and the freedom to acquire and dispose of property.

Both these Agreements were initialed by the leaders of the teams negotiating the arrangements on post‐secession issues between the Republic of Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan. They will be signed by President Omar Hassan el Bashir and President Salva Kiir Mayardit, at a Summit to be held in Juba in the coming weeks.

The Chairperson of the Commission is especially pleased to note the new spirit of compromise and cooperation expressed by the two Parties, and their reaffirmation of the principle of mutual viability, which has permeated this round of negotiations. The AU, through the AU High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), has been insisting on this principle of mutual viability as the underlying principle for the negotiations between the two States. The Chairperson of the Commission welcomes the acceptance by the Parties of the need to approach the negotiations as partners, not as adversaries, and to seek win‐win solutions to their relations. The two states are bound by history and geography to seek solutions that recognize their common interests, and this new spirit of cooperation will allow them to speed up their search for a comprehensive settlement to all aspects of their relations, in the interests of the peoples of both states.The Chairperson of the Commission recognizes that the acceptance of the principle of mutual viability marks only the first step in “rebooting” relations between the two neighbouring states. The challenge now is to ensure that this new attitude is sustained, and is translated into practical improvements in their relations. This would require that the two States address the security issues that currently continue to pose a major threat to peace in the region, and to address the issue of oil and related matters, including the resumption of oil production in South Sudan, to prevent any further damage to the economies of both states. The AU is committed to supporting the Parties as they address their challenges in this regard, and calls on the international community to extend its support to the Parties.

The Chairperson of the Commission expresses his continued appreciation and gratitude to the AUHIP, which is chaired by former President Thabo Mbeki and includes former Presidents Abdulsalami Abubakar and Pierre Buyoya, for their tireless work in bringing about this change in the Parties attitude to the negotiations. The Agreements signed yesterday mark a turning point in the negotiations, and will enable the Parties to speed up their negotiations on all outstanding matters in their relations. He also extends appreciation to the team that has been working in support of the AUHIP, for their invaluable contribution to the search for a peaceful solution that would allow the two states to live in peace. The Chairperson reiterates his commitment to sparing no effort in support of the AUHIP and the Parties in their search for a comprehensive solution to all matters.

Source: African Union High level Implementation Panel (AUHIP).

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