[JURIST] In Thursday's international brief, senior African Union [official website] officials are reporting that the Sudanese government [official website] bombed a Darfur village Wednesday, with NGO workers present for the first time to actually witness the explosions. The announcement came just hours after the UN confirmed that over 100 people were killed and over 9,000 fled their homes last week to escape fighting between militia and rebel forces. The current situation in Sudan has been exasperated by the refusal of the UN Security Council [official website] to take affirmative steps to contain the fighting. The US envoy to the UN Wednesday proposed several possible options to the Security Council for slowing the fighting, including the direct funding of the AU by the UN to allow for the deployment of more troops. The US also pushed its controversial plan to either establish a new ad hoc tribunal in Sudan, or to allow the current International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda [official website] to hear cases from Sudan. Both suggestions have been criticized by European members of the UN, who favor using the already-funded ICC. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage [JURIST country archive] of Sudan. The Sudan Tribune has local coverage.
In other international legal news …
- Romanian President Traian Basescu [official profile] was warned Wednesday that his efforts to stamp out corruption in the former-Soviet bloc country has made him a possible assassination target to organized crime. Basescu's intelligence service chief Radu Timofte has warned the president that the steps he has taken since his surprise election in December have created impetus in the mob scene for an assassination attempt. Basescu's pledge to eliminate corruption from the Romanian government [official website] mirrors the concern felt by the EU in the country's current situation. Brussels has proposed several plans to assist Romania in controlling the rampant graft. UPI has more.
- Malaysian and Thailand [government website] governments are feuding over the capture of Islamic militant Abdul Rahman Ahmad. Malaysia announced the arrest of Ahmad earlier this week, prompting Thailand to request his extradition. Ahmad is accused of being behind the theft of significant stores of Thai govermental weapons, which he then allegedly transported to the south, sparking the year long separatist revolt that has claimed over 570 lives. Ahmad is being held by Malaysia under their Internal Security Act, which allows for indefinite detention of terrorist suspects. There is no extradition treaty between the two neighboring countries and Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi [official website in Bahasa Malaysian] said Malaysia would cooperate with all investigation requests, but that Malaysia would not extradite a Malaysian citizen to Taiwan. Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra [official profile] has expressed outrage at the refusal of Malaysia to hand over Ahmad, and just prior to this incident had expressed concern that Malaysia was allowing itself to be used as a staging ground by terrorists. ISN News has more.
- Indonesian government [government website in Bahasa Indonesian] officials and ACEH [faction advocacy website] rebel leaders are meeting in Finland Thursday for the first talks between the two warring sides in almost two years. ACEH is a separtist movement based on the north-western tip of Sumatra that wants autonomy from the Indonesian government. The agenda for the talks, mediated by Crisis Management Initiative [official website], is being carefully guarded, but Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono [official profile in Bahasa Indonesia] announced on CNBC Asia Pacific television Thursday that if the rebels were willing to put a halt to the violence of their 30 year independence campaign, he would be willing to make concession on autonomy. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage [JURIST country archive] of Indonesia. Read the Crisis Management Initiative press release. The Jakarta Post has local coverage.