Justice is Useless if it Destroys Peace
International Law must be delivered with the right procedures and indubitable evidences if it has to be credited as objective justice. This Law of Nations must not be biased with politics of selfish competition in the international and global interests. This Law must always be the servant of security, stability, order and peace and not vice versa. This Law must not be put as a “˜Blockage Cart’ before the “˜Horse of Peace’ and “˜Political Progress’ in the Sudan. It must not be used as a tool of “˜Political Pressure’ on Sudan Government by the non-signatory to it like USA Government or by the signatory to it like the Governments of France and UK, among others. It must not also be abused by the Civil Society Lobby Groups like “˜Save Darfur Coalition’ and “˜Human Rights Watch’ who are good at nothing except exaggerating the statistics of the dead and displaced Darfurians and wishing them ever lasting suffering for the benefit of expatriates.
Yes, it is true that “Justice delayed is Justice denied” but it is even truer that “Peace disturbed is Peace destroyed.” Peace is a greater good than Justice and that is why the United Nations got founded on it rather than on Justice. Justice can wait because Peace is a priority to it. The current President of African Union, Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, understands the value of peace in Africa very well when he warned the ICC Western agents to avoid creating chaos in the continent by trying to indict the sitting President of the Sudan and lock him behind the Criminal Bars in The Hague. The Arab League Secretary-General, Amr Musa, said “the situation is very serious and very dangerous…the search for justice should not jeopardize the other priorities in Sudan.” African Union Peace and Security Commissioner, Ramtane Lamamra, said “ICC targeting of African High Officials is unacceptable” Why have the ICC’s first four cases targeted African conflicts only? Is this an attempt to prove that Africa knows nothing best about government except to murder its citizens in a genocider manner?
Liberia’s Charles Taylor in 2006 and Yugoslavia’s Slobodan Milosevic in 1993 were the only heads of States tried in international courts but that was done when they were out of power. Can Ocampo wait until Sudan ratify the Rome Statute and until Al Bashir becomes a former Head of State, and perhaps until Sudan become a “˜Failed State’ without effective judiciary for him to make his case relevance?
Arrogant and rigid enforcement of International Law is an abrogation of justice especially when it is done hastily with political motives rather than legal intentions. For example, upon hearing the news of Ocampo ill-motives on the President of the Sudan, George Bush run to the media and said “we’re trying to work with Al Bashir to make sure he understands that there will be continued sanctions if he doesn’t move forward by facilitating the deployment of peacekeepers and flow of aid in Darfur…We’re not a member of the ICC, but we’ll see how that plays out with Al Bashir.” You can understand here how USA is against the ICC but happy to use it as a “Tool of Pressure” on Sudan. You can also detect sarcastic Neo-colonial mentality from Bush when he thinks the President of the Sudan is a man who lacks understanding. I remember Hugo Chaves, the President of Venezuela telling Bush in the face that he is the worst devilish President the world ever had.
Also the French Foreign Ministry spokesman Eric Chevallier run to the media and said Ocampo move “would constitute an element of positive appreciation by the International Community.” Again the French envoy at the United Nations, Jean-Maurice Ripert hinted that his Government may freeze contacts with the Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir if the judges of the ICC decided to issue an Arrest Warrant for him…the EU rules are very clear. We have no dialogue and no cooperation with anyone indicted by the ICC. My country will oppose any attempts to invoke article 16 of the ICC rules that empowers the UN Security Council to suspend prosecutions by the world tribunal. It is not too late for the Sudanese authorities to cooperate with the ICC by arresting and handing them Ahmed Haroun, the State Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, and the Janjaweed leader, Ali Mohamed Ali Abdel-Rahman known as Ali Kushayb for quick international trial.” But is France neutral on the internal problems of the Sudan? Where is the rebel Abdel Wahid, the Leader of Sudan Liberation Army/Movement enjoying his life and making free international telephone calls? Does the Neo-colonialist like France care about the fate of the Sudan and the whole African continent?
How many black people were burnt dead in Paris without bringing the perpetrators to the Book? Aren’t the French Companies hungry for the Oil of the Sudan? Don’t they know that the former Cuba President, Fidel Castro, stayed in his country and did many good things to his people and to Africans without bothering about American sanctions and external trips? If the World denied H.E. Al Bashir traveling abroad, it will be even good for him to focus on the internal Affairs of the Sudan and travel to all its corners to see to it that good things are being done to the locals. Those who need him from other countries will have no option but to come to Sudan and beg him for oil.
Richard Dicker, the Director of Human Rights Watch’s International Justice Program also run to the media and said “charging President Al Bashir for the hideous crimes in Darfur shows that no one is above the law. It is the prosecutor’s job to follow the evidence wherever it leads, regardless of official position.” Also Dr. James Smith, the Chief Executive of the Aegis Trust said the ICC move “is an historic moment for International Justice; the first time a serving Head of State has been accused of genocide.” Further, John Prendergast Co-Chair of the ENOUGH PROJECT and former Official of Clinton’s Administration said that “the ICC indictments can be a step forward in the path to secure peace in Darfur…until there is a consequence for the commission of genocide, it will continue. This action introduces a cost, finally, into the equation” Some Human Rights Groups said the indictment may help move Darfur closer to peace. Excuse me please! What “˜peace’ are you talking about when you are sending wrong signals to the rivaling parties? You better say your Lobby Groups will move closer to getting good money from Darfurians’s sufferings.
But why should the Sudan be an experimenting ground for the ICC effectiveness? Is the Sudanese President a laboratory for testing the effectiveness of International Justice System? Has Ocampo proved that Sudan Judicial System is not genuine to try the criminal cased about Darfur region before the alleged accusation could be handled by the ICC? This should have been the first step of the treacherous ICC Prosecutor before he listed his accusations against Sudan Sovereignty.
Amnesty International urged Khartoum “to refrain from using the Prosecutor’s announcement as an excuse to block the U.N. peacekeeping mission from protecting civilians in Darfur or delivering humanitarian assistance.” Of course Khartoum can express its disappointment by any means that can make the ICC defer its proceedings against the President of the Sudan. Khartoum knows that If UN and Humanitarian Organizations are blocked in Darfur, this will make them unhappy because it will means blocking their big salaries and other privileges they enjoy in the name of the suffering people of Darfur. Sudan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Abdel Mahmood Abdel Haleem, said the President Al Bashir likely will visit the U.N. General Assembly in September 2008 and that Sudan would consider any attempt to arrest him on foreign soil the gravest of matters punishable by open options including military response. He said Sudan would consider any attempt of arrest as an invitation for the act of war. Unless USA is able to take all the Islamists to ICC and lock them behind bars, taking Al-Bashir there alone will not be a solution to their defeat by the most intelligent terrorist of the World, Osama Bin Laden.
The International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) said “silence in the face of atrocities does not prevent further crimes.” But why are they silent about the crimes being committed by the American, the British and the French Governments in the Middle East, the Gulf and Asia? Is the ICC becoming a “Pressure Tool” to Sudan alone when it is supposed to look at international problems of injustice with independence, impartiality, fairness and effectiveness, and without ulterior motives? It is known that the ICC is based on a treaty, joined by 106 countries only. It will not act if a case can be investigated or prosecuted by a national judicial system unless the national proceedings are proven to be incompetent. The ICC is supposed to be a court of last resort when international peace is at threat. Is Al Bashir a threat to International Peace? It is also known that Sudan has not ratified the Rome Statute for it to qualify for ICC legal investigations and trials. Isn’t Ocampo trying to popularize his international legal proceedings on a wrong Country?
China Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao expressed “serious concern and worry about the request by Occampo to the ICC judges to issue an Arrest Warrant against Al Bashir.” He called on parties concerned to take a prudent attitude, and properly settle divergences through consultation. He said “the ICC’s move should help the stability of Sudan and the proper settlement of the Darfur issue, instead of the other way round.” He said further that China will consult with other members of the U.N. Security Council to block the ICC from issuing the requested Arrest Warrant.” Yes, China must move quickly and give Ocampo more money than he gets from the USA. Ban Ki-Moon said ICC “would have very serious consequences for peacekeeping operations including the political process … I’m very worried but nobody can evade justice. In principal I believe that peace and justice should go hand in hand. Justice can be part of a peace process but peace without justice cannot be sustainable.” This suggests that Ki-Moon only care about the comfort of his employees in Sudan but not about the Sudanese plight.
On 14th July 2008, Ocampo filed 10 charges against the sitting President of the Sudan without respect to the sovereignty vested upon him by the Interim Constitution of the Sudan (ICS), which was born as a result of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and the National Congress (NC) who is the majority ruling party in the Sudan. The lazy Arm-chair Prosecutor of the ICC said three of these charges count for genocide, five counts for crimes against humanity, and two counts for murder. He accused Mr. Al Bashir of running a campaign of genocide that has killed 35,000 people outright, at least another 100,000 through a “slow death” and forced 2.5 million to flee their homes in Sudan’s Western Region using the military, political and diplomatic apparatus of the State.” Ocampo categorized his evidence Sources for justifying his investigation as the follows:
1) Some Eye Witnesses and Victims of the alleged crimes in Darfur;
2) Recorded interviews from some Sudan Government Officials;
3) Statements from some Experts on the activities of High Officials of the Sudan Government and leaders of Darfur Militia known as the Janjaweed;
4) Documents and other information provided by the Government of the Sudan upon request of the Prosecution;
5) The Report and other materials on Darfur from the UN Commission of Inquiry;
6) The Report and other materials provided by the Sudanese National Commission of Inquiry;
7) Documents and other materials obtained from open sources.
According to Ocampo’s Investigation Report, the wiped and the driven away people in Darfur were the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups who challenged Al Bashir’s Regime about “the economic and political marginalization of their region.” According the biased negative news he got from the CCN, BBC and Monte Carlo, these non-Arab groups rebelled against the Arab government and used arms to pursue their cause. These African tribes did not commit crimes in the process of their struggle and their hands are not soaked in any blood of the innocent Sudanese. They did not destroy government assets and should be encouraged to overthrow Al Bashir’s Government with the help of the ICC’s pressure.
With this background, the speedy and impatient Ocampo recommended to the ICC judges of Pre-Trial Chamber I to issue an International Warrant of Arrest to the accused President of the Sovereign Republic of the Sudan who is against the practice of neo-colonialism by the former colonialists. Mr. Ocampo has earned a lot of money from this work and is looking forward to earn more out of his dirty investigations as he did it some years back in his own country Argentine. Go and ask the Argentineans and they will tell you how they hate Ocampo because he is an agent of Americans’ and Europeans’ interests. These Neo-colonialists took him from Argentine to the ICC Headquarters in Netherlands. They did this because they found him to be a judge who is insensitive to the value of independence and national dignity of the Less Developed Countries because he enjoys being the servant of the so-called “˜Super Masters’ of the so-called “˜First World’. His country, Argentine is known of having eliminated the Black African and the Red Indians because of their Colour. Instead of plotting against the progress of the Sudan in peace-building and sustainable development, Ocampo should go and investigate the gravest historical human crimes that were committed in Argentina when it was invaded by his grandfathers who went from Europe to South America.
The Sudan’s Vice President, Sudan’s Vice President Ali Osman Mohamed Taha called the ICC move “irresponsible, illegal and unprofessional.” The Sudan opposition’s parties and the SPLM said that a political solution to crisis in Darfur is the key to preventing the negative impact of the possible Arrest Warrant that may be issued by the ICC against Sudan President. Yassir Arman called on the government to create a roadmap on Darfur “within a week” in consultation with other political parties and NGO’s. Some SPLM leaders said they are ready to utilize their contacts to help diffuse the crisis through consultation with the International Community and Legal Cooperation with the ICC. The Umma Party said the “ICC move can bring a constitutional collapse to Sudan” after the good distance that has been covered. The Umma Party leader, Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi said “there should be a balance between justice and interests of peace … targeting any person in this country, especially its leader, is targeting Sudan, its people, stability, peace and security”. Dr. Hassan Al-Turabi, the leader of the Popular Congress Party (PCP) and former ally of Al-Bashir said “South African model for Truth and Reconciliation is the way forward” but he said he cannot make a ruling in the ICC prosecutor’s charges because “it is something the court has to examine.” Suleiman Sandal, the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) said they will put “all their forces to the service of the ICC to help bring Al Bashir to justice. The ICC decision puts Al Bashir in a corner and will help us now to overtake his regime.” But using the ICC as a tool for achieving Regime Change defeats the purpose of Justice of the International Law.
The patriotic Sudanese must excuse the rebels and the run-away nationals who live abroad and who support foreign interests against the sovereignty of the Sudan. The President of the Sudan is not a less President than any President of any Country (like USA, France and UK). Real and patriotic Sudanese do not encourage any move that can cause undemocratic “Regime Change” in their country. They cannot accept to be fooled and used by Western countries who do not wish Sudan any good thing except continuous crisis and humanitarian interventions? What has the previous “Regime Changes” brought to Sudan apart from more chaos and suffering of the innocent people? Why do we advocate for “Regime Change” when its consequences are undesirable to the citizens of the Sudan who decided to endure and live inside the Sudan dignifully without running abroad to sell their birth rights in search of food and shelter?
The President Omer Hassan al-Bashir ratified on 14th July the Electoral Law which lays the basis for running free and fair elections in the first quarter of 2009. This law contains mixed electoral system. 60% of the 450 MPs will be chosen through the majority elect in their geographical constituencies. It also guarantees 25% of the parliamentary seats to women who will be elected through the proportional representation with other 15% of the MPs. The new law organizes the holding of general elections in the country at three levels, including presidential election and elections for the federal parliament and regional legislative chambers, while voters in Southern Sudan have also to elect the President of the Government there. The bill sets 4 percent minimum vote needed for any party to enter parliament through the proportional representation and requires for candidates at presidential elections to get at least 200 endorsements from 18 of Sudan’s 25 states. Why don’t we appreciate Al Bashir for this achievement?
Thank to H.E. Salva Kiir for accepting to head the Crisis Committee and be a Joshua to Al Bashir’s case with the ICC. This is a Patriotic stand because even if Southerners differ with the Arabs in the Sudan, still they are Sudanese citizens and possible good neighbors with the forthcoming State of South Sudan. Kiir job description is to ensure that the Crisis Committee undertakes diplomatic and legal actions to counteract Ocampo’s charges against the sovereignty of the Sudan where Kiir has a share. According to the presidential decree, the panel has to coordinate its efforts with the African Union, the Arab League and Movement of Non-Aligned Countries. In addition, the Committee has to study the legal aspects of charges leveled by the ICC Prosecutor against the Sudanese president and to find a compromise with the International Community to avoid negative effects on the signed peace accords. The game against the ICC has started and the spectators are taking their seats to clap for the winners or the losers.
I am supporting my team from the Sudan and urge them to warm up with the following ideas from a philosopher who was against the current status quo of the international community and the Foreign Policy of American Government, especially the Hiroshima disaster and Vietnam War. He was a good liberal American philosopher and I love him very much. His name is John Rawls. To challenge the partiality of the International Law and its injustices on the Less Developed and Less Powerful Countries, Rawls came up with an alternative. He called it the “Law of the Peoples”. He presented its basic principles as follows:
1. Peoples are free and independent, and their freedom and independence are to be respected by other peoples;
2. Peoples are to observe international treatise and undertakings without using double standards;
3. Peoples are equal and are parties to the agreements that bind them according to reasonable consensus;
4. Peoples are to observe a duty of non-intervention into others’ internal affairs without their request;
5. Peoples have the right of self-defence but no right to instigate war for reasons other than self-defence;
6. Peoples are to honour the fundamental human rights without rigidity;
7. Peoples are to observe certain specified restrictions in the conduct of war as a last resort for urgent needed solution; and
8. Peoples have a duty to assist other peoples living under unfavourable conditions because of lack of just or decent political, social, and economic structures in their communities.
Based on these points, you can see how USA and UK are failing in Iraq and Afghanistan. They have provoked terrorism in the World and are unable to control it. Their Technology of Intelligence and Hard Ware of War has been defeated by the cleverest Osama Bin Laden. The unjust Iraq during the time of Saddam Hussein’s Regime is far better and peaceful than the invaded Iraq under Bush’s control now. They eliminated Hussein into the land of the dead in the name of double standard justice, and spoiled the peace of Iraqis by setting Iraq to fire of chaos. What has the Anglo-American definition of dream of liberty and justice brought to Iraq? God forbids this situation in the Sudan!
James Okuk is a PhD Student in the University of Nairobi, Kenya.
Okuk’s arguments are faulty in may ways. If it is true that ICC Chief prosecutor has used faulty procedures which in his view are experimental, then why the regime is so worried since Monday 14?
It is not even true to claim that Sudan’s judicary system is capable to look into cases involving senior people in the NCP regime. In its efforts to tell the ooutside worls is was doing somthings with the crimes against unarmed civilians in Darfur, it mandated Dafa’allah Commission of Iquiry which establhsded evidences that crimes had in fact occurred. The regime never acted on the findning of a commission it established, a proof that the regime has no will to pursue justice for its own citizens.
Sudan’s judiciary is not independent after the prosent government purged the system ofmm people who did not toe the political line of the Islamist regime. All these and much more are convincing facts that the judiciary in Sudan cannot be trusted to deliver jusice to the best interests of the victims in Darfur, most of whom-over 300,000- are not with us (although Al Bashir claims the total number of those killed are about 9,000).
So, ICC is the only credible body that can deliver justice without which peace will remain a mirage as is the case with the CPA. Because justice was skipped in the CPA, we are now witnessing many problems with the implementation of this agreement.
Mr Okuk is right. We have a relevant precedent in Sudan . The Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed in 05 and put an end to a long and devastating civil war. It provided a rare victory for the Bush administration and the West in a Muslim country. The role the USA ,the UK and other “brokers” was crucial in that agreement and it is highly appreciated. What would have happened if a condition was put (before the final signature) to look into human rights violations by either side ? How long would that have taken. What result would it have achieved?
Besides, who can prove that the Law is separable from politics ?The legal system encodes the balance of power in society. When the balance shifted in the US President Eisenhower sent federal troops to LIttle Rock to enforce integration.When the establishment in the US and the UK felt threatened by terrorism most of the much cherished civil liberties became redundant.
Ocampo’s motive is political.The ICC has failed to make progress in 6 years and Ocampo’s errors have meant the collapse in June08 of a high profile case which was dismissed because Ocampo did not show the Defence team an important file. He needed shock tactics also because the ILO’s administrative tribunal was looking into a case by Christian Palme against the ICC . The Judgement was declared on 9July and was duly overshadowed by the Bashir indictment furore. Mr Palme won his case because of another example of Ocampo’s legal standard .He sat on a committee which took a decicision against an appeal submitted by Mr Palme about his dismissal by Ocampo! He also refused to comply with an advice to reinstate M. Palme.
Several legal experts interviewed by BBC radio 4’s Profile programme(19July) stated that the ICC was headed for trouble if its prosecutor worked without skilled advisors and took cases out of context.