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The ICC, AU and Bashir

Jun 7, 2010, 10:23 AM

While we do not want to be seen as passing judgment between the ICC, AU and the Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir, we want to once again use the medium to urge all parties involved in resolving the problem to exercise restraint, so as to save the people of Darfur from any further crisis.

Bashir, who faces the risk of being arrested on war crimes charges by the ICC, has an indictment pressed against him over crimes committed in Sudan's western Darfur region.

Meanwhile, we urge the ICC to hold on for a while with the international arrest warrant issued against the Sudanese leader in the name of peace. Already the Sudanese leader has sent a defying note saying he is not going to give into the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity in Darfur.

Uganda, host of next month's African Union conference has also made it clear that Bashir has not been invited to the conference.

The country's President Yoweri Museveni said in a statement late Saturday that Sudan would be represented at the conference by "other government officials and not Bashir."

Under the ICC, African states that are signatories to the agreement establishing the court are obliged to arrest him.

We, however, urge them to hold on so as to save the innocent citizens of Darfur, most especially women and children

The African Union should also seek for a deferment of the arrest warrant, as this in our humble opinion would complicate peace efforts in the already troubled region of Darfur.

For too long a period, Africa and its people have suffered from wars, diseases, while the rest of the human race continued to move forward.

The International Criminal Court must consider the implications of such an arrest warrant and weigh both its positive and negative effects on the already suffering people of Darfur region of Sudan. Not only have the people of Darfur suffered long, but lives of both the UN and African Union peace-keepers have been lost, leaving their families and loved ones behind.

We cannot afford any escalation of this crime and anything that will jeopardise the peace must be avoided at all costs.

"Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of the peace must be constructed."