Better late than never

Middle East & Africa. Sudan’s elections

Better late than never
In Sudan the polls open, on African time
Apr 12th 2010 | JUBA AND KHARTOUM | From The Economist online

REMARKABLY, after all confusion of last week, Sudan’s multi-party elections started on April 11th as planned. But perhaps it was too much to expect the polling stations to open promptly at 8am as well. Sure enough, in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, voters and officials at several polling centres were left kicking their heels for hours waiting for the ballot papers to turn up. In the north, it was reported that some people were not able to vote until late afternoon.

But since this was the first time that most Sudanese had been able to vote since 1986, a delay here and there wasn’t going to dampen the generally festive spirit of the day. Asked if he was disappointed at the tardiness of the polls, one Dinka tribesman in Juba sagely replied that he was confident they would open eventually, on “African time”.

The late openings will, however, further complicate an already dangerously cumbersome exercise. In the south of the country, voters are being asked to cast 12 ballots, covering different tiers of government in the country as a whole as well as in the south specifically. In the north, voters will cast 8 ballots. In a country in which many people are illiterate, this is time-consuming. On Sunday, in Juba, some voters were taking half an hour to get through all the ballots. An extension of the three-day voting period is likely.

Many voters will be confused as to who is officially standing, too. Some opposition parties “boycotted” the vote in protest against the pre-election rigging of President Omar al-Bashir’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP). But their boycotts do not extend to all levels of government, or all parts of the country. The main opposition party, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM; made up of one-time southern rebels), withdrew its candidate, Yasir Arman, from the presidential contest, but it is unclear whether it is officially running for any other offices. Besides, Mr Arman and the other politicians supposedly boycotting the election still appear on the ballot papers. If everyone votes for him anyway, will he persist with his boycott? No-one seems to know.

It may be an academic point, especially in the north, where victory for anyone but the NCP already seems unlikely. As expected, the party’s election-machine was out in force. Officials at NCP tents erected opposite many polling centres in Khartoum received supporters bussed in to vote. It is impossible to know whether they had all been legally registered at the relevant polling stations; some polling stations apparently did not have the lists of registered voters on view.

With far more money than any other party, the NCP can afford to do this sort of thing. The Umma party, the biggest northern opposition party, was able to cobble together just under $500,000 to spend centrally on the whole election. The NCP, by contrast, has deployed the full resources of the state, including its near-monopoly on the state media, to help its campaign.

To the people of southern Sudan, none of this makes much of a difference. They are far more concerned with their referendum on secession from the north, due early next year. In the north, however, opponents of Mr Bashir (who was indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court in March 2009) are in despair. They have no second tilt at him next year; if he wins they are stuck with him for at least another five years. Some feel betrayed by the boycotts and naked politicking of the opposition parties, particularly the SPLM. They are also angry with foreign countries (such as America) which seem to care less about these elections (and whether they are free and fair) than about the referendum and securing the new state of South Sudan. But where will that leave the millions of wretched north Sudanese, who face the prospect of years more rule by an indicted war criminal?

Presidente sudanês usa máquina para se perpetuar no poder

São Paulo, segunda-feira, 12 de abril de 2010

Presidente sudanês usa máquina para se perpetuar no poder
Na primeira eleição multipardidária em 24 anos, governo transporta eleitores e manda que votem em Omar al Bashir

Eleição é item de acordo de paz de 2005 que pôs fim a guerra civil; como maioria da oposição boicota o pleito, mandatário é favorecido

FÁBIO ZANINI
ENVIADO ESPECIAL A CARTUM (SUDÃO)

O eleitor chega num carro pago pelo partido do governo. É encaminhado a uma tenda, para se proteger do sol escaldante. Como é quase sempre analfabeto e sem documento, recebe na hora um título de eleitor improvisado, emitido por uma comissão eleitoral supostamente independente, mas aparelhada politicamente.
De brinde, leva um modelo de cédula com a instrução de votar na “arvorezinha”, símbolo do partido do governo. Enquanto espera sentado na sombra, come pão com ful (feijão árabe) e tem água à vontade.
O uso da máquina para reeleger o presidente sudanês, Omar al Bashir, foi ontem uma marca da primeira eleição multipartidária em 24 anos.
O ritual acima descrito foi testemunhado pela Folha a cem metros de uma seção eleitoral montada numa escola no campo de refugiados de Soba al Radi, periferia de Cartum. O campo abriga 200 mil pessoas que há duas décadas chegam buscando refúgio da pobreza e das guerras no sul do país e em Darfur (oeste).
“Eu não sei nada sobre o presidente, mas vou votar no Congresso Nacional [seu partido]”, disse a dona de casa Fatima Ali, enquanto esperava um funcionário do partido trazer um pedaço de papel que lhe daria o direito de votar. “Vou votar no presidente porque disseram que era para votar. Eles dizem isso para todo mundo.”
Nassreddin Idriss, motorista de um micro-ônibus, fazia a quarta viagem entre a seção eleitoral e uma localidade chamada “Bloco 4”, a meia hora de distância. “Fui contratado pelo partido do presidente”, disse.
Uma picape com a bandeira do partido do governo ia e vinha a todo o momento trazendo sempre uma dezena de eleitores de al Bashir na caçamba.
Ali Ismail, ao mesmo tempo membro da comissão eleitoral e do partido governista, disse que a orientação aos eleitores era apenas sobre como votar certo. “Estamos ensinando a todos que precisam marcar sua opção dentro do círculo. Se não, o voto será invalidado.”
O presidente sudanês, no poder há 21 anos, busca uma vitória esmagadora para legitimar-se internacionalmente. Para isso, conta com inesperada ajuda da maioria da oposição, que boicota o pleito justamente pelo uso da máquina.
Há um ano, al Bashir foi o primeiro chefe de Estado no cargo a ser indiciado pelo Tribunal Penal Internacional, por crimes contra as populações de Darfur. Em tese, será preso se pisar em 111 países (incluindo o Brasil), embora conte com o apoio de vários Estados africanos e árabes.
A eleição, que começou ontem e segue até amanhã, é um dos itens de um acordo de paz assinado em 2005 que pôs fim a uma guerra civil entre o norte árabe e o sul negro do país. Outro ponto prevê um plebiscito sobre a independência do sul para janeiro.
Ontem, a eleição correu sob forte vigilância de 100 mil policiais. Nas ruas de Cartum, o clima era tranquilo, com apenas algumas bandeiras tremulando das janelas de carros.
No campo de Soba al Radi, bancos de metal sob o sol foram colocados na entrada de dez salas da escola Center Sophia. Apesar do sacrifício, as filas eram longas. Quase todos votavam pela primeira vez.
“Estou aqui há três horas, mas vale a pena. É meu direito”, afirmou Abdullah Tia, empregado do governo. E mais um voto para al Bashir.
________________________________________
Ouça podcast de Fábio Zanini sobre o Sudão
http://www.folha.com.br/101011

Catch me if you can

Catch me if you can

Mar 28th 2009
From Economist.com

The president of Sudan thumbs his nose at the International Criminal Court

AP

OMAR AL-BASHIR certainly gets around. In defiance of the arrest warrant for war crimes issued against him by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on March 4th, the Sudanese president has spent the past week jetting about northern Africa. He visited Eritrea, Egypt and Libya and was planning a trip to Ethiopia. Having called on some of his neighbours, he is making up his mind whether to attend a summit of the Arab League in Qatar on Monday March 30th.

Mr Bashir is scathing about the allegations of crimes against humanity and war crimes that are levelled against him. As he travelled, a spokesman for the Sudanese foreign ministry said that the president considers the warrant for his arrest “not worth the ink it is written with—and this is the message of this trip.”

For now the ICC is putting on a brave face. Speaking to al-Jazeera television the court’s chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, retorted that Mr Bashir’s trip is “a sign of desperation rather than a challenge to the ICC”. In fact the trip demonstrates the enormous difficulty faced by the court in getting those indicted into the dock.

Within Sudan Mr Bashir faces no threat of arrest. In Khartoum, the capital, people prefer to avoid talking in public about the indictment of the president. When pressed, a typical response is no more than a resigned shrug of the shoulders. A few dissidents explain that after two decades of military rule, it is time for Mr Bashir to go. Those more sympathetic to Mr Bashir, notably in government and business, suggest that the warrant is part of a broad American conspiracy to steal resources (mainly oil) from Sudan. For them, the president’s wanderings are welcome evidence of his thumbing his nose at the court.

Beyond Sudan Mr Bashir is slightly more at risk, but he has designed his tour with care. Eritrea, Egypt, Ethiopia and Libya have all failed to sign up to the ICC and thus they have no direct obligation to nab Mr Bashir (although any member of the United Nations is expected to co-operate with the court). The African Union and the Arab League, of which they are variously members, have both called for the arrest warrant to be deferred, arguing that it will destabilise Sudan.

It might grow trickier for Mr Bashir if he decides to go to Qatar, which would involve travelling through international airspace. The president’s supporters worry that his plane could somehow be diverted to a third country which might be more willing to enforce the ICC’s arrest warrant, sending Sudan’s president to The Hague.

In Qatar Mr Bashir could have pause for thought. The host country itself has not signed the Rome treaty which set up the court, so is not obliged to detain Mr Bashir. But Jordan, Djibouti and the Comoros—all members of the Arab League—have signed up to the court and should in theory lend a hand in bringing the indicted president to book. In practice, with the Arab League rejecting the validity of the warrant, this is most unlikely.

Yet Mr Bashir might yet hesitate. Various former heads of state—from Liberia’s Charles Taylor to Yugoslavia’s Slobodan Milosevic—were eventually delivered to international tribunals, despite widespread belief that the courts were toothless because they lacked the direct means to conduct arrests. The Committee of Muslim Scholars, Sudan’s highest religious authority, has issued a fatwa advising Mr Bashir to avoid the Arab League summit because “the enemies of the nation are creeping round”. Should Mr Bashir decide to stay home, he has a convenient excuse to do so.

TPI emite mandado de detenção para o presidente do Sudão

Alice Andrés Ribeiro

Quase quatro anos depois de o Conselho de Segurança da ONU ter remetido a situação de Darfur (Sudão) para o Tribunal Penal Internacional, foi emitido um mandado de detenção para o presidente sudanês, Omar Al Bashir. Embora não tenha sido acusado de genocídio, Bashir é suspeito dos seguintes crimes de guerra e crimes contra a humanidade:

– Crimes de guerra: homicídio; extermínio; deportação ou transferência forçada de uma população; tortura e; violação, escravatura sexual, prostituição forçada, gravidez à força, esterilização à força ou qualquer outra forma de violência no campo sexual de gravidade comparável;

– Crimes contra a humanidade: atacar intencionalmente a população civil em geral ou civis que não participem directamente nas hostilidades e; saquear um aglomerado populacional ou um local, mesmo quando tomado de assalto.

Embora não existam mecanismos legais que garantam que Bashir apareça perante o TPI em Haia, é extremamente significativo que um chefe de estado em exercício seja indiciado por um tribunal internacional permanente, que conta com 108 países membros.

Press release do Tribunal Penal Internacional (04/03/2009): http://www.icc-cpi.int/NetApp/App/MCMSTemplates/Content.aspx?FRAMELESS=false&NRNODEGUID={0EF62173-05ED-403A-80C8-F15EE1D25BB3}&NRORIGINALURL=/NR/exeres/0EF62173-05ED-403A-80C8-F15EE1D25BB3.htm&NRCACHEHINT=Guest#

ICC issues a warrant of arrest for Omar Al Bashir, President of Sudan

 

ICC-CPI-20090304-PR394 عربي

 

 

Situation: Darfur, Sudan 

Today, Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a warrant for the arrest of Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir, President of Sudan, for war crimes and crimes against humanity. He is suspected of being criminally responsible, as an indirect (co-)perpetrator, for intentionally directing attacks against an important part of the civilian population of Darfur, Sudan, murdering, exterminating, raping, torturing and forcibly transferring large numbers of civilians, and pillaging their property. This is the first warrant of arrest ever issued for a sitting Head of State by the ICC.

Omar Al Bashir’s official capacity as a sitting Head of State does not exclude his criminal responsibility, nor does it grant him immunity against prosecution before the ICC, according to Pre-Trial Chamber I.

According to the Judges, the above-mentioned crimes were allegedly committed during a five year counter-insurgency campaign by the Government of Sudan against the Sudanese Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A), the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and other armed groups opposing the Government of Sudan in Darfur. It is alleged that this campaign started soon after the April 2003 attack on El Fasher airport as a result of a common plan agreed upon at the highest level of the Government of Sudan by Omar Al Bashir and other high-ranking Sudanese political and military leaders. It lasted at least until 14 July 2008, the date of the filing of the Prosecution’s Application for the warrant of arrest for Omar Al Bashir.

A core component of that campaign was the unlawful attack on that part of the civilian population of Darfur – belonging largely to the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa groups – perceived to be close to the organised armed groups opposing the Government of Sudan in Darfur. The said civilian population was to be unlawfully attacked by Government of Sudan forces, including the Sudanese Armed Forces and their allied Janjaweed Militia, the Sudanese Police Force, the National Intelligence and Security Service and the Humanitarian Aid Commission.

The Chamber found that Omar al Bashir, as the de jure and de facto President of Sudan and Commander-in-Chief of the Sudanese Armed Forces, is suspected of having coordinated the design and implementation of the counter-insurgency campaign. In the alternative, it also found that there are reasonable grounds to believe that he was in control of all branches of the “apparatus” of the State of Sudan and used such control to secure the implementation of the counter-insurgency campaign.

The counts

The warrant of arrest for Omar Al Bashir lists 7 counts on the basis of his individual criminal responsibility (article 25(3)(a)) including:

  • five counts of crimes against humanity: murder – article 7(1)(a); extermination – article 7(1)(b); forcible transfer – article 7(1)(d);
    torture – article 7(1)(f); and rape – article 7(1)(g);
  • two counts of war crimes: intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population as such or against individual civilians not taking direct part in hostilities – article 8(2)(e)(i); and pillaging – article 8(2)(e)(v).

Findings concerning genocide

The majority of the Chamber, Judge Anita Ušacka dissenting, found that the material provided by the Prosecution in support of its application for a warrant of arrest failed to provide reasonable grounds to believe that the Government of Sudan acted with specific intent to destroy, in whole or in part, the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa groups. Consequently, the crime of genocide is not included in the warrant issued for the arrest of Omar Al Bashir. Nevertheless, the Judges stressed that if additional evidence is gathered by the Prosecution, the decision would not prevent the Prosecution from requesting an amendment to the warrant of arrest in order to include the crime of genocide.

Cooperation of States

The Judges directed the Registrar to prepare and transmit, as soon as practicable, a request for cooperation for the arrest and surrender of Omar Al Bashir to Sudan, and to all States Parties to the Rome Statute and all United Nations Security Council (UNSC) members that are not party to the Statute, as well as to any other State as may be necessary.

The Judges found that, according to UNSC resolution 1593 and articles 25 and 103 of the UN Charter, the obligation of the Government of Sudan to fully cooperate with the Court prevails over any other international obligation that the Government of Sudan may have undertaken pursuant to any other international agreement.

Pre-Trial Chamber I also found that the Government of Sudan has systematically refused to cooperate with the Court since the issuance of warrants for the arrest of the Sudanese Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Ahmad Harun, and a regional Janjaweed militia leader, Ali Kushayb, on 2 May 2007. As a result, the Judges emphasised that, according to article 87(7) of the Statute, if the Government of Sudan continues to fail to comply with its cooperation obligations to the Court, the competent Chamber “may make a finding to that effect” and decide to “refer the matter […] to the Security Council.”

Furthermore, the Judges noted that the dispositive part of UNSC resolution 1593 expressly urges all States, whether party or not to the Rome Statute, as well as international and regional organisations to “cooperate fully” with the Court.

Information concerning “ICC issues a warrant of arrest for Omar Al Bashir, President of Sudan”

 


 

For further information please contact Ms Laurence Blairon, Spokesperson, at
+31 (0)70 515 87 14 or +31 (0) 6 46 44 88 89 or at laurence.blairon@icc-cpi.int.

Interviews can be arranged in English or French. In order to request such interviews, please call Mr Fadi El-Abdallah (French and Arabic media) at +31 (0)70 515 91 52 or Ms Kerry Picket (English media) at +31 (0)70 515 91 30.

Juíza brasileira participa de processo em Haia contra presidente sudanês

UOL

04/03/2009 – 07h00

Juíza brasileira participa de processo em Haia contra presidente sudanês

Thiago Scarelli
Do UOL Notícias
Em São Paulo

Uma brasileira em Haia

  • Jiri Buller/CICC-CPIA brasileira Sylvia Steiner é juíza do Tribunal Penal Internacional e participa do processos movidos pela instituição nos casos da República Democrática do Congo e do Sudão
  • ReproduçãoAssinatura da juíza Steiner no documento datado de 23 de fevereiro, no qual se anuncia o julgamento desta quarta-feira

O processo conduzido pelo Tribunal Penal Internacional (TPI) contra o presidente do Sudão, Omar al-Bashir, acusado de genocídio, crimes de guerra e crimes contra a humanidade, conta com a assinatura da juíza brasileira Sylvia Helena de Figueiredo Steiner.

Steiner, que integra o corpo de magistrados do TPI desde 2003, é uma das magistradas que compõem a primeira Câmara Preliminar da Corte. Dessa forma, a juíza brasileira, junto com a magistrada ganense Akua Kuenyehia e com a letã Anita Usacka, é responsável por procedimentos preliminares em casos envolvendo a República Democrática do Congo e a região sudanesa de Darfur, onde conflitos étnicos e políticos já deixaram mais de 300 mil mortos e 2,5 milhões de refugiados.

De acordo com as regras do TPI, a câmara preliminar é responsável por cuidar da eficiência dos procedimentos tomados no início de cada investigação, além de buscar cooperação dos Estados no sentido de proteger possíveis vítimas durante o andamento do processo.

Em qualquer momento da investigação, o procurador pode solicitar à câmara preliminar a emissão de um mandado de detenção, como ocorre no caso referente ao presidente do Sudão. Quando as acusações são estabelecidas, o caso passa a ser responsabilidade de uma Câmara de Julgamento, estabelecida pela presidência do TPI.

Antes de assumir suas funções em Haia, Steiner foi advogada, procuradora da República em São Paulo e desembargadora do Tribunal Regional Federal da 3ª Região (TRF-3). De acordo com as regras do tribunal internacional, a brasileira deve trabalhar na instituição até 2012.

Funcionamento do tribunal

Tribunal Penal Internacional

  • Wim Cappelen/CICC-CPIPrédio do Tribunal Penal Internacional (TPI), instituição permanente com jurisdição para processar indivíduos acusados de genocídio, crimes contra a humanidade e crimes de guerra
  • Jiri Buller/CICC-CPIAssim como a Corte Internacional de Justiça (órgão judicial da ONU), o Tribunal Penal Internacional fica sediado
    em Haia, na Holanda

O Tribunal Penal Internacional (TPI) é uma corte permanente que hoje tem jurisdição para julgar cidadãos acusados em três classes de crimes de escopo internacional: genocídio, crime contra a humanidade e crime de guerra.

Apesar de também funcionar em Haia, o TPI não é a Corte Internacional de Justiça, que é constituída como órgão judicial da ONU, em funcionamento desde 1945. Enquanto a Corte Internacional de Justiça decide disputas entre Estados, o Tribunal Penal Internacional julga apenas pessoas.

O órgão foi criado pelo Estatuto de Roma, um acordo internacional que entrou em vigor há quase sete anos após ter sido assinado por 60 países, entre eles o Brasil. Como instituição jurídica internacional, é herdeira dos Tribunais de Nuremberg e de Tóquio, assim como da Corte Criminal Internacional que decidiu questões referentes a Ruanda e à ex-Iugoslávia. Essas experiências anteriores, no entanto, tinham objetivo e duração restritos, o que trouxe a necessidade da criação de um tribunal perene.

Segundo seu estatuto, a jurisdição do TPI é complementar em relação às cortes nacionais, o que significa que a Corte só age quando as Justiças nacionais não têm condição ou interesse em investigar os casos.

Apesar de apresentar laços com a Organização das Nações Unidas, o TPI é independente e não dispõe de nenhum tipo de polícia ou força militar. Nos casos em que se estabelece detenção de um acusado, o TPI depende da colaboração de contingentes dos Estados para concretizar o mandato.

Enquanto estão sob julgamento, os acusados podem ficar detidos em um centro holandês, mas em caso de condenação o tribunal depende novamente de instituições e infraestrutura dos Estados.

No caso específico do Sudão, que não é signatário do Estatuto de Roma, o país não se vê obrigado a colaborar com as decisões do TPI. Desde 2007 existem mandados de prisão não cumpridos contra o líder miliciano Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman e contra o ministro sudanês de Casos Humanitários, Ahmad Muhammad Harun. O próprio presidente Omar al-Bashir já manifestou que não pretende obedecer nenhuma decisão do tribunal.