More Evidence that the ICC and Peace in Darfur Don’t Mix

by Julian Ku

The Institute for War and Peace Reporting notes that there is an emerging political consensus against supporting ICC efforts in Darfur.

Escalating violence in Darfur and efforts by the international community to restore peace has dominated the news headlines this month.

Particularly prominent has been coverage of the first visit by the new UN secretary-general to the region and his thoughts on peacekeeping, political solutions and humanitarian aid. Noticeably absent, however, from Ban Ki-moon’s statements on Darfur has been any mention of the International Criminal Court, ICC, and the two arrest warrants it issued earlier this year for a Sudanese rebel leader and a government minister.

And it’s not just the secretary-general staying silent on the subject of the ICC, which also has outstanding warrants for Ugandan rebel leaders. In a recent editorial in Britain’s Times newspaper, UK prime minister Gordon Brown and France’s president Nicholas Sarkozy insisted governments must apply pressure over Darfur but said nothing at all about the court.

“There has been a quiet calculation by the likes of Ban Ki-moon, by the British, by the French, that we can’t have both, the deployment of the force and the extradition of the men under indictment. The two are mutually exclusive,” said Eric Reeves, an American academic and expert on Darfur.

http://opiniojuris.org/2007/09/09/more-evidence-that-the-icc-and-peace-in-darfur-dont-mix/

3 Responses

  1. I am sorry but I read the piece very differently. Moreno-Campo has his work cut out for him as a new institution and it does come down to political will of states to help – as it does inside every country (see segregation in the south). If the French people get behind this, Sarkozy will move. As to the arrest warrants, reminds me of the international community as regards what happened in Rwanda or Cambodia – at some point it becomes important enough to do more. If one thinks that the people who did these things will magically change if you get rid of the arrest warrants, I have a bridge in Brooklyn for you. This is just an effort at intimidation taking the local people hostage. I would think it would encourage us to have more resolve not less with the likes of the Darfur folks and the others. We can write our leaders to encourage them to insist more is done also. We know the addresses at http://www.whitehouse.gov, http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov.

    Best,

    Ben

  2. My… what a terribly precedent this, if one need only step up the violence to make the courts back down.

  3. I think these anecdotal pieces of evidence rather than providing evidence that the ICC and peace does not mix – show the disconnect in strategies between all of the international actors. On one side you have individual states pursuing aims which they have set themselves – often without discussion with their allies. On the another side, the UN trying to mediate and put forward a collectivist view. On the third the ICC and its desire to show its value. All these seperate parties acting independently of one another are confusing the situation and making “peace” even more elusive than were they to act together. It is, at least, clear in my mind that the state parties (and in this case) especially EU member states should come together to formulate a single agenda that they should take to the UN. The UN should then, in consultation with ICC make clear its strategy and policy goal to ICC so at least it can appear that all of them are working in concert. That this has not happened yet, does not mean that it should not happen as soon as humanly possible.

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