Thursday, March 31, 2005

US Agrees to Darfur Referral to ICC (?!)

Suzanne Nossel at DemocracyArsenal has posted a news report stating that the US has agreed to let the ICC handle the trials of the crimes in Darfur. An ICC referral is a topic that we here at Opinio Juris have debated at length. See here, here, and here for only three examples (other links our within these previous posts). Following is the news report, as spotted by Democracy Arsenal. As the report states, this deal has not yet been officially announced; we'll see what happens when the time comes for public announcement.

Washington will let ICC hold Darfur trials: report

Last Updated Wed, 30 Mar 2005 23:45:07 EST
CBC News

WASHINGTON - The United States has agreed to let the International Criminal Court try people accused of committing war crimes in Sudan's Darfur region, a news report says.

Washington had strongly opposed holding the trials at the UN court in TheHague, but agreed to a compromise on Wednesday, the Associated Press reported, citing officials from the administration of President George W.Bush.

The United States doesn't support the court because it says it fears political enemies might launch frivolous or politically motivated prosecutions against U.S. citizens.

The officials, who asked not to be named because the deal hasn't been made public, told the news agency the compromise includes guarantees that the ICC could not prosecute Americans deployed in Sudan.

The compromise marked the latest development in drawn-out efforts by the Security Council to deal with the crisis in Darfur.

Fighting between government-backed militias and rebels has killed about 180,000 in the region. As many as 350,000 people may have died of pneumonia, diarrhea and malnutrition and more than 1.2 million have been driven from their villages in the past 18 months alone.

Human-rights groups and other observers - including former U.S. secretaryof state Colin Powell - have condemned the violence as genocide.Many have urged the UN to deploy a peacekeeping force to quell the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

But discussions at the UN's Security Council have repeatedly been stalledby political wrangling, as the deaths continue.On March 29, the Security Council voted to impose a travel ban and freezeassets of people who commit atrocities in Darfur.

A few days earlier, it unanimously approved a resolution to send 10,000 peacekeepers to southern Sudan - but the troops won't be going to Darfur.

3 Comments:

Anonymous donzelion said...

About time.

Consider how "far" we've come: Jesse Helms condemned the ICC as a "monster to be slain"; years later, Bush grudgingly permits it to act in Darfur.

Will the ICC save lives? Most likely, yes. Will it stop genocide? Not by itself. Will it affect how people go about exercising the worst travesties? Probably. When those engaging in major atrocities feel that they need to hide their conduct - even a little - then their capacity to engage in that conduct is reduced tremendously (absent weapons of mass destruction).

4/03/2005 12:10 PM  
Blogger madison said...

ICC has introduced referral system with three reviews...Its a matter of helping a particular team..For instance India Vs Sri lanka...
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