September 22, 2008 (NEW YORK) — Sudanese Vice President called upon the African Union Peace and Security Council today to take a strong stance for the suspension of the indictment of the Sudanese President by the International Criminal Court Prosecutor.
Sudan’s Vice President Ali Osman Taha speaks in parliament in the capital Khartoum on July 14 2008 (AFP)
In a meeting held Monday evening on the sideline of the United Nations Assembly General meeting, Taha urged the regional body to strongly request the UN Security Council to defer the prosecution and the investigation by the ICC.
"We hope that your meeting today comes out with strong and clear request to the Security Council to rectify the situation and overcome the request of the International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor" Taha said today in New York.
"We also hope that the meeting of the General Assembly provides an opportunity for the Council to coordinate in this regard with all regional and international organizations that rejected the ICC prosecutor move, to work with it and the African countries members of the Security Council to achieve what is requested according to a clear mechanism and timeframe for action." Taha stressed.
The African Union had asked the U.N. Security Council to invoke article 16 of Rome Statue and suspend any indictment of Sudan’s head of state.
Libya and South Africa sought to force a suspension in the UNAMID extension resolution adopted on July 31 but failed to get the required number of votes and instead accepted a watered down paragraph taking note of the African Union (AU) concern regarding the ICC move.
Since the issue was not raised by any delegation.
Hopes for the introduction of an Article 16 resolution appear to be fading primarily due to the stances of the veto wielding Western members of the UNSC namely US, UK and France.
UK and France diplomats hinted to their desire to see concessions from Sudan before they would consider supporting such a resolution.
But the US, which had long standing opposition to the ICC, appeared uncompromising on bringing war crimes perpetrators to justice. Washington abstained from voting on the UNAMID extension resolution over the text which included reference to the AU concern over Bashir’s indictment.
Taha also urged the AU peace and Security Council to ensure the collaboration of "all the concerned parties" to bring rebels to the table of negotiations, saying government efforts to end the crisis could not be successful without reaching a peaceful solution with them.
He also spoke about Khartoum efforts to implement Abuja peace agreement particularly the deal reached with the former rebel leader who returned to Darfur to protest the ill implementation of the 2006 peace deal.