[dehai-news] (Reuters): 1. Hague court issues warrant for Sudan's Bashir 2. ANALYSIS-Warrant against Sudan's Bashir could bring turmoil

New Message Reply About this list Date view Thread view Subject view Author view

From: Berhane Habtemariam (Berhane.Habtemariam@gmx.de)
Date: Wed Mar 04 2009 - 09:39:52 EST

Hague court issues warrant for Sudan's Bashir

Wed Mar 4, 2009 8:10am EST

THE HAGUE, March 4 (Reuters) - The International Criminal Court issued an
arrest warrant for Sudanese president Omar Hassan al-Bashir on Wednesday for
crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur.

The indictment and warrant, which could spark further unrest in the troubled
region, make Bashir the most senior figure pursued by the Hague-based court
since it was set up in 2002.

Bashir, who has dismissed the allegations, is accused of orchestrating a
campaign of violence in Sudan's western region of Darfur, starting in 2003.
ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo has said 35,000 people were killed
outright and at least 100,000 more through starvation and disease.

(Reporting by Reed Stevenson and Aaron Gray-Block)


C Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved

ANALYSIS-Warrant against Sudan's Bashir could bring turmoil

Wed Mar 4, 2009 8:36am EST


By Andrew Heavens

KHARTOUM, March 4 (Reuters) - A decision by International Criminal Court
judges to issue an arrest warrant for Sudan's President Omar Hassan
al-Bashir could bring further turmoil to Africa's largest state and the
surrounding region.


* It is unlikely Bashir will go quietly. He has seen off other challengers
in almost 20 years in power. Insiders say a crunch meeting of senior members
of Bashir's dominant National Congress Party in mid January agreed to back
him in the immediate aftermath of the court decision.

* Some supporters of the International Criminal Court's move hope it will
eventually persuade Sudan's politicians to hand over their leader in a
palace coup, end the festering conflict in Darfur and do more to repair
relations with the West.

* But potential plotters and opposition groups will hedge their bets,
waiting to see how events play out. They will be watching for any signs of
weakness from Bashir, harsher sanctions from abroad, and challenges from
rebel groups.

* If Bashir hangs on in defiance of the court, his government could slowly
retreat into bitter isolation that may worsen the Darfur conflict and
undermine the deeply troubled peace deal with southern Sudan. Over time,
hard-liners in the extensive security establishment could gain the upper

* Bashir could look to elections scheduled for 2009 to show he is a popular
leader with a democratic mandate.

* Sudan will seek to build up its relations with China, Russia, members of
the Arab League and African Union who opposed the ICC case, and also with


* Once freed of a feeling it needs to pander to the West, Khartoum could
mobilise its militias to achieve what some still think is a viable military
solution to the Darfur conflict.

* Darfur rebels will be emboldened by the court's decision. The Justice and
Equality Movement has already threatened to repeat its May attack on
Khartoum. A tentative agreement signed between JEM and Khartoum in February,
that was supposed to pave the way to peace talks, will come under pressure.
Neighbouring Chad could step up its support of insurgent groups.

* The Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which ended two decades of civil war
between north and south Sudan in 2005, could be in greater danger as both
sides focus on internal battles at the expense of preparations for elections
in 2009 and a referendum on southern secession in 2011, both promised under
the pact.

* Anti-Western groups blamed for a bomb plot against embassies in 2007, and
the killing of a U.S. diplomat in 2008, could take advantage of the
atmosphere. Embassies, U.N. agencies, peacekeepers and aid groups are
already on high alert, fearing attacks on foreign staff.

* Intelligence cooperation with the West against Al Qaeda and other Islamist
militant groups could cease.


* While Bashir remains in power, the arrest warrant means the West has lost
one of its strongest negotiating cards with Sudan the offer to normalise

* The new U.S. administration could still offer Sudan the carrot of removing
the country from its list of state sponsors of terrorism. But early
statements from President Obama and his team suggest they plan a tougher
stance on Sudan.

* Sudan may continue to push members of the U.N. Security Council to use
their powers to postpone the ICC case, but this has so far been resisted by
Western members of the council.

* Western powers will face questions over whether they can continue to deal
with a wanted president or fund elections and other projects involving his

* China's stance will be key. So far, the permanent member of the UN
Security Council has opposed the arrest warrant, saying the move would bring
turmoil to Darfur. But its support for the regime may waver if unrest
arising from the ICC case endangers China's oil interests and workers in

* Sudan's African neighbours will be torn between protecting themselves from
any Sudanese conflicts overflowing their borders and looking for ways to
exploit unrest for their own ends.

* Other African countries, who opposed the ICC case through the African
Union, may start reconsidering their membership of the International
Criminal Court.

* Some of the 30 African countries who signed the founding statute of the
International Criminal Court may start reconsidering their involvement. Many
states already feel the court's investigations to date have unfairly
targeted the continent. (Editing by Charles Dick)


C Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved



         ----[This List to be used for Eritrea Related News Only]----

New Message Reply About this list Date view Thread view Subject view Author view

© Copyright DEHAI-Eritrea OnLine, 1993-2009
All rights reserved