Ban Ki Moon Did Mention the ICC While in the Sudan

by Kevin Jon Heller

Last week, Julian claimed that the ICC and peace in Darfur don’t mix, citing a recent article from the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (a wonderful organization) that noted the Secretary-General of the UN, Ban Ki Moon, did not mention the ICC’s arrest warrants for Ahmed Haroun and Ali Kushayb during his first visit to the the region.

It’s true that Ban did not publicly mention the ICC. But he revealed today that the ICC had been very much on his agenda during private meetings with the Sudanese government:

“I raised this issue with President (Omar Hassan) Bashir more than once in a private conversation,” Ban, who visited Sudan earlier this month, told a news conference.

“As my meeting was done in private conversation, I should prefer not to disclose all the details,” he said. “But … I will continue to raise and discuss this matter.”

[snip]

While U.N. bodies are demanding Khartoum make the arrests, they need Bashir’s agreement for a new peacekeeping force of 26,000 troops and police and Sudan’s cooperation for a peace settlement in Darfur.

Recognizing the contradiction, Ban said that while justice was part of the peace process one had to keep a low profile in dealing with Khartoum.

“For a certain period, certain occasions, there are certain issues which need to be kept confidential for the purpose of promoting and making progress on those issues,” Ban said.

As if motivated by a desire to highlight the importance of the ICC’s efforts, the Sudanese government recently appointed Haroun to head a national committee charged with “investigating” human-rights abuses in Darfur.

http://opiniojuris.org/2007/09/19/ban-ki-moon-did-mention-the-icc-while-in-the-sudan/

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