Azara Blog: Darfur atrocities referred to ICC

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Date published: 2005/04/03

The Financial Times says (subscription service):

Human rights groups claimed victory on Friday after the UN Security Council referred human rights atrocities in Darfur to the International Criminal Court, but said the deal came at an exorbitant cost.

The Security Council had come under fire for its relative inaction in the face of atrocities, which had led to 10,000 deaths a month and massive displacement.

After weeks of negotiation, which at several stages appeared on the brink of collapse, the UK brokered a last-minute compromise between France, which demanded the referral, and the US, which is bitterly opposed to the ICC.

The result was a resolution that refers alleged war crimes to the fledgling Hague-based court, but exempted nationals of countries not party to the ICC from prosecution by any other court than their own, provided they are on a UN mission in Sudan.

It was enough to win an abstention from Washington, rather than a veto. Algeria and China, which have consistently opposed tough measures against Khartoum, also abstained, leaving the final tally at 11 out of 15 votes in favour.

A perfect illustration that the Americans believe themselves to be above the law. If they have nothing to hide they have nothing to fear from the ICC (isn't that what Bush and Blair always say about criminals when removing our civil liberties). Unfortunately it is now well known that the US government commits and condones torture and on a whim Bush launched a devastating war in which 100000 people have died, so they do have something to fear from the ICC. Hopefully the ICC will at least be able to do something about Darfur since the UN seems incapable of doing anything.

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