Rights activist says Sudan President has “no political will” to end Darfur crisi

s Banjul- Gambia (PANA) -- A human rights activist, Djibril Balde, on Tuesday decla red that Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir does not have the political will to e n d the conflict in Darfur.
The Dakar-based rights activist said a lot of crimes had been committed in Darfu r and without justice it would be difficult to have peace.
“The Sudanese President does not have the political will to end the conflict,” B alde, a key member of the West Africa Focal Point of the Darfur Consortium, told PANA.
“We consider that nobody is above the law; we should eradicate impunity and just ice must be seen to be done and must be done for the sake of the victims in Darf u r,” he said.
Balde recalled that in 2004 there was a ceasefire agreement signed in N’Djamena, Chad, chaired by Chadian President Idriss Deby, but fighting erupted shortly th e reafter.
The Darfur Peace Agreement was also signed in Abuja, Nigeria, but sadly it has n ever been respected, though not many rebel movements signed it.
He recalled that on 14 July 2008 the prosecutor at the International Criminal Co urt (ICC) issued an arrest warrant against President al-Bashir on alleged genoci d e and crimes against humanity and war crimes.
According to Balde, the judges at The Hague studied the arrest warrant and decid ed to indict President al-Bashir.
“We have noticed that African leaders and the African Union are criticizing and rejecting the ICC’s call because they believe that the ICC is selective and targets only Africans,” he said.
However, he pointed out, 30 African countries h ave ratified the Rome Statue which created the ICC.
African leaders, Balde said, should support the effective implementation of the ICC’s decision to arrest President al-Bashir and hand him over to the court in T h e Hague.
He said the prosecutor of the ICC, before issuing the arrest warrant, carried ou t investigations and noticed that President al-Bashir had a great responsibility in the atrocities in Darfur.
“We are trying to sensitize our leaders and seek African public opinion to show that the ICC will be helpful in addressing the situation in Darfur.
” Balde said since the start of the conflict in 2003, about 300,000 people had bee n killed, 2.
5 million displaced internally and hundreds of Darfur refugees were l iving in difficult conditions in eastern Chad.

12 may 2009 23:04:00

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