African Union backs Sudan’s Bashir

The African Union (AU) expressed confidence in Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir, wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), as his country faces a crucial referendum on independence for the south.

The pan-African body’s Peace and Security Council backed Bashir and his southern vice president Salva Kiir to ensure peace in the country, whatever the result of the vote.

It also called for the suspension of ICC proceedings against the Sudanese president and the lifting of international sanctions against Khartoum in a statement following a two-day meeting in Tripoli on Monday and Tuesday.

Bashir has been threatened with arrest under warrants issued by the ICC for genocide, warcrimes and crimes against humanity committed in Sudan’s western region of Darfur, where a rebellion has been raging for seven years.

The warrants have hampered his movements outside Sudan, though a number of African countries have hosted him with impunity.


European pressure
The Peace and Security Council “assured the Sudanese parties of Africa’s full solidarity and support and called on the international community to facilitate and support the Sudanese parties in their efforts, including by deferring the process initiated by the ICC and by removing the sanctions against Sudan”, the AU’s statement read.

“The council expressed AU confidence in the leadership of Oma al-Bashir and the first VP to lead Sudan into a new era of peace, regardless of the outcome of the referendum on self determination in January 2011,” it added.

The union met in the wake of a summit with the European Union in Tripoli which Sudan boycotted, complaining of “European pressure” to shut out Bashir.

Bashir accused European governments of “hypocrisy” for urging him to implement Sudan’s 2005 north-south peace accord while attacking his legitimacy.

The Sudanese leader, whose involvement is crucial to regional peace efforts, was also to have attended the African Union peace and security talks.

“This will be the last opportunity for African leaders to get together before January’s referendum in south Sudan,” an African diplomat complained.

Only six weeks away, the January 9 independence vote in south Sudan could partition Africa’s largest country.

The referendum is the centrepiece of the 2005 peace deal that ended two decades of conflict between the majority Muslim north and largely Christian south which left two-million people dead. — Sapa-AFP

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

An African free trade area is in our sights

Successes and failures from other initiative such as the European Union will be instructive, but much work must be done before the African Continental Trade Area becomes a reality

Burundi’s new security minister has a long and bloody past

Gervais Ndirakobuca is under international sanctions for human rights violations — abductions, disappearances, murder, turture — when people protested against the president seeking a third term

The SADC will regret its approach to Mozambique’s insurgence

The SADC has been lackadaisical in its response to the insurgency in Mozambique and in so doing, is putting several other southern African countries at risk

Nine years later, South Sudan is still a nation in waiting

July 9 marks nine years since South Sudan became independent. But the promise of that independence has yet to be realised

AU rights leader warns of human rights disaster

The African Union’s human rights boss has expressed grave concerns about the erosion of human rights during and after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mogoeng on Israel: Bad faith and ‘impunified disregard’ for international law?

The chief justice needs to publicly account for his comments, by either walking them back or explaining his change of heart on international law and its institutions
Advertising

Vaccine trial results due in December

If successful, it will then have to be manufactured and distributed

White men still rule and earn more

Women and black people occupy only a few seats at the JSE table, the latest PwC report has found

ANC still at odds over how to tackle leaders facing...

The ANC’s top six has been mandated to work closely with its integrity committee to tackle claims of corruption against senior party members

The PPE scandal that the Treasury hasn’t touched

Many government officials have been talking tough about dealing with rampant corruption in PPE procurement but the majority won't even release names of who has benefited from the R10-billion spend
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday