Wednesday, 4 August 2010, will indisputably be a date for future generations of Kenyans to remember. Following more than 20 years of debate and several attempts at passing a new constitution, Kenya finally succeeded.
On 27 August, President Bashir attended Kenya’s celebrations for the promulgation of the new constitution. For the Pre-Trial Chamber of the ICC this was a reason to take a “Decision informing the United Nations Security Council and the Assembly of the States Parties to the Rome Statute about Omar Al-Bashir’s presence in the territory of the Republic of Kenya” (http://www.icc-cpi.int/iccdocs/doc/doc930979.pdf). The US, EU and several human rights organisations have condemned Kenya for welcoming a fugitive from international justice. They may have valid political and human rights arguments for their position, just like Kenya has political reasons for inviting the President of its biggest neighbour. ICC judges, however, may take only those decisions for which the ICC Statute provides a legal basis. This blog has already pointed out that it is questionable whether the ICC judges were allowed to circulate an arrest warrant for a President of a non-state party, whose immunity had not been lifted by the Security Council, to ICC States Parties (see the earlier discussion on this blog). However, it is even more questionable whether the ICC judges had a legal basis for this “Decision informing the United Nations Security Council and the Assembly of the States Parties […]
Part 3: Why Mr. Bassole and Company Must Go On Mr. Djibril Bassole 1- Darfur conflict is not Togo and the “Inter-Togolese Dialogue” process. It is not Niger and Tuareg. It is not Cote d` Ivoire either. Mr. Bassole was involved in all those with President Blaise Campaore`. In Darfur, he does not have the direct support of his President or the knowledge of the West African region and its language (French). 2- Mr. Bassole was Foreign Affairs and Regional Cooperation (FA) Minister under President Campaore from June 2007 to September 2008.15 months of “International Diplomacy” seemed to have been enough to qualify him for the job. 3- Before his FA portfolio, he was in charge of security in Burkina Faso for 7 years. It is unfortunate for Darfur that all the lenses of all the regional stakeholders seem to be the security lens. He never came to a position of leadership through the ballot boxes to learn how to win over human beings and win their hearts and minds. 4- His boss (President) has been in power for 23 years. Two years more than President Beshir. Mr. Bassole may not be able to conceive “Power Sharing” or “Compromise”. Those […]
Tag El-Khazin is trying to shoot down the only peace process that can bring peace to Darfur. His article begins with a false assumption and this leads him to a wrong conclusion. He thinks that Darfur is an ordinary conflict and the toolbox of negotiating techniques that have been used in other conflicts can be applied. But Darfur is not South Sudan or Burundi, it is a uniquely severe, complicated and long-lasting conflict which has been condemned by the world as genocide. There are ongoing and unprecedented brutalities against the civilian population, and the fragmenting of the armed opposition movements. The Darfur conflict is multi-layered with local, national and international factors driving it. This unique kind of conflict needs a unique peace process. The UN Security Council has said time and again that the Doha process can succeed and will succeed. The backing of the world’s highest and most powerful body is not to be taken lightly. Doha has the elements that can bring success, and the participants confidently believe will bring success. The high-powered mediation team has brought in an unprecedented number of qualified and experienced international experts from all parts of the world who are actually drafting the […]
If Sudan’s domestic partitionists and their foreign backers have their way there will be a new border in Africa by the same time next year that will be as meaningless to the cattle pastoralists and other nomadic ethnic groups as the other borders created during the imperial conquest of Africa and the subsequent decolonisation decades later. For example the border between Chad and modern Sudan is an endless source of strife between communities to and fro on both sides. There is no reason that a proposed new border between a future (northern) Sudan and a new independent South Sudan will be more peaceful, on the contrary. The border that divided Dar Fur from Wadai into separate regions belonging to different national territories of separate sovereign authorities was only agreed between the British and French colonial powers in 1924 and has in effect remained as meaningless for the majority of the people of the two regions whether they are camel nomads, cattle pastoralists, or sedentary and agriculturalists, whether they consider themselves as ‘Arab’ or ‘African’ ever since modern Sudan and Chad became independent and sovereign nations. Much of the current problems of modern Darfur and eastern Chad are related in various […]
Part 2: The model structure of mediation and what we have in Doha as Mediation and Process and identifying the gaps The content of this set of 3 papers exposes and details why Doha has failed and shall continue to fail unless structural reforms are done to the Process and competent mediation personnel are engaged .(1) We cannot beat about the bush and look “elsewhere” while the main fault-line is in Mediation. A- The mess in the process structures A robust Mediation Process must (at least) have: 1- Framing of Issues (DOP) that meets the agreement of the belligerent parties. 2- A well designed Gathering Process for the Primary Stakeholders for Track I and the Secondary Stakeholders for Track II, but in separate venue/sub-process: Not a Bazaar. 3- Impartial Venue and Mediator who know his/her/their role. 4- The mediator must have the continued and sustained confidence of the parties. 5- The Mediator is a “Facilitator” and not an “Umpire” dictating on parties. 6- He/she must “level the field” and make sure both/all belligerents are treated equal. 7- He/she must have the capacity, knowledge and resourcefulness to generate seeds of options and must be able to open windows when doors are […]
This article is inspired by two events: The apparent loss and disorientation of the Joint AU/UN Chief Mediator for Darfur Mr. Djibril Bassole and the continued unbecoming statements from Mr. Bassole and from the Qatari State actors(1) dealing with the file. It is also inspired, in part, by the emerging news that Libya may be a revived actor in Darfur Political Settlement file. After the Mediation travelled in all directions, talked to all people, begged all leaders, gathered all the Movements’ and Political Formations’ leaders, their relatives and friends, flew out IDPs, Refugees, Darfur Society, envoys and representatives of External Stakeholders, built and structured “Movement (s)” and split others they now decided to recess talks. One reason given is the Muslim Fasting Months that only started on August 12th (and one cannot see why talks do not continue during the Fasting Month). Another reason given is that the very IDPs/Refugees that were flown in to legitimize the lame talks between GOS and LJM have shocked Mediation with their maturity and solid ceiling of demands. A third reason that is not much publicized, is that all of a sudden, Mediation realized that the “Trade Mark” of “Rebel Movements” were still with […]
Recent months have witnessed the phenomenon of a growing chorus of criticisms of the Doha peace process. Carping is to be expected during any long drawn out peace negotiations and without any doubt the JCM Minister Bassole will have to answer many questions about his choice of strategy and tactics when the process finally concludes. His public relations leaves much to be desired as it is. Notwithstanding legitimate questions about the questions of who is represented in Doha and the significance of proceeding with drafting substantive texts in the absence of Abdul Wahid al-Nour and Dr. Khalil Ibrahim, it is as clear as daylight that Doha is the only legitimate peace process for Darfur under these current circumstances. As someone who has contributed to these columns in the past with little good to say about the Doha process, the reader is entitled to know why I am forwarding this opinion. To begin with, the Doha process is recognized by the United Nations, the African Union, the League of Arab States and all the major world powers without exception. Libya has stood against it and Egypt has signaled its discontent but no-one can argue that these rivalries among Arab states are […]
According to the data gathered by UNAMID, there were 144 fatalities due to violence during July 2010. Each of the last few months has followed its own distinctive pattern and July was different again. Usual caveats apply. The majority of fatalities (112) were due to armed conflict, of which 107 were in North Darfur, principally a major battle between JEM and SAF. Whether this prefigures a resurgent continuing regular armed conflict between government and armed movements, or whether this is (as the government claims) a step in degrading JEM’s military capacity, to the point at which it is no longer a threat, remains to be seen. Significant has been the near absence of inter-tribal conflict. Only a single fatality was recorded (in West Darfur) for this kind of violence (although, seven ‘tribesmen’ were recorded among the dead overall). Again, it is unclear whether this is merely a lull of a single month or whether government measures to rein in inter-tribal clashes are being successful. There were 31 incidents of criminal homicide, evenly spread among the three states. Twenty seven civilians were killed during the month, including eleven fatalities among IDPs. There were no fatalities among UNAMID or international humanitarian workers.