A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

African Union to seek delay of Bashir ICC indictment

[JURIST] The African Union (AU) [official website] agreed Monday to seek a postponement of the pending International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] indictment against Sudan President Omar al-Bashir [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], citing concerns over a possible threat to the peace process in Sudan. Meeting at the 12th African Union Summit [official website] in Addis Ababa, Ethiopa, the AU's Peace and Security Council [official website] agreed to lobby the ICC for a one-year suspension of the case [AFP report]. AU Commission Chairman Jean Ping expressed concern over the fact that ICC cases have been confined to the adjudication of war crimes and crimes against humanity only in African conflicts [Sudan Tribune report].

ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo [offical profile] applied for an arrest warrant for Bashir [JURIST report] in July, charging him with genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. The warrant was condemned [JURIST report] by the Arab League [official website, in Arabic] and criticized [JURIST report] by South African President Thabo Mbeki [official profile]. In December, ICC judges gave Moreno-Ocampo until January 26 to provide supplemental information [JURIST report] about a September 2007 attack [BBC report] on an African Union [official website] base in Haskanita. The events at the ICC were preceded by a Security Council statement in June urging Sudan to work with the ICC [JURIST report] to "put an end to impunity for the crimes committed in Darfur." Sudan is not a party to the ICC, but must cooperate to fulfill its obligations under Council Resolution 1593 [text], which established jurisdiction over the Darfur situation. Hundreds of thousands of people have allegedly been killed in Darfur by Sudanese military and janjaweed [Slate backgrounder] militia forces.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.