PSC urges Sudan to dock Darfur human rights offenders

Addis Ababa- Ethiopia (PANA) -- The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the Afric a Union (AU) has reiterated its call on the Sudanese government to urgently take concrete steps to bring to justice the perpetrators of human rights violations i n the restive region of Darfur.
In a communique issued at the end of its 151st meeting here Tuesday, the council expressed "deep concern at the continued violence in the region, in particular t he attacks against the civilian population, humanitarian workers and [the peacek e eping force of UNAMID.
" The PSC, however, welcomed the willingness of the Sudanese government to involve lawyers designated by the AU and the Arab League into the envisaged judicial pr o ceedings in order to give them the required credibility.
"Council reiterates its unequivocal condemnation of all acts of violence in Darf ur and violations of human rights and stresses, once again, the need to bring th e ir perpetrators to justice," stated the communique.
The council underlined the AU's unflinching commitment to combating impunity and promoting democracy, the rule of law and good governance throughout the entire c ontinent, in conformity with its constitutive act.
Meanwhile, the PSC has reaffirmed the AU leaders' decision on the abuse of the p rinciple of universal jurisdiction adopted by the 30 June - 1 July 2008 ordinary summit in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, and stressed the need for international justic e to be conducted in a transparent manner, in line with the principles of interna t ional law.
Recalling resolution 1828 (2008) of 31 July 2008 of the UN Security Council, the PSC reiterated its request for the deferral of the process initiated by the Int e rnational Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor for an arrest warrant to be issued aga i nst the Sudanese President.
In the same vein, the council underscored the implementation of Article 16 of th e Rome Statute of the ICC as indispensable for the consolidation of the progress recorded so far and requested the UN Security Council to act immediately in this direction in order to promote peace and justice in Darfur and in Sudan as a whol e .
Supporting the decision of the Security Council to extend the mandate of UNAMID for a further period of 12 months, the PSC said it noted with satisfaction the e f forts being made to expedite the deployment of the force, with a view to reachin g 80 per cent of its authorised strength by 31 December 2008.
"In this respect, council urges the international community to provide the neces sary support, particularly with respect to logistics, to enable UNAMID carry out its mandated tasks more effectively," said the communique.
Also, the council reaffirmed its full support for the Joint AU/UN Chief Mediator in Darfur, Djibril Yipèné Bassolé, and urged all Sudanese parties to fully coop e rate with him in order to facilitate the early resumption of the political dialo g ue and the conclusion of a comprehensive peace agreement.
According to the council, there can be no military solution to the conflict in D arfur and, therefore, all Sudanese parties need to work closely together and ext e nd full cooperation to the AU and the UN in order to achieve a comprehensive pea c e that builds on the Abuja Agreement and addresses all relevant issues.

23 september 2008 14:42:00

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