Saturday, April 02, 2005

Countdown to International Justice in Sudan (Day 1)...

It should come as no surprise that the government of Sudan has rejected U.N. Resolution 1593 which authorizes the International Criminal Court (ICC) to prosecute those involved in war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sudan.

In a party statement, Information Minister Abdul Basit Sebdarat said the Security Council vote was devoid of "any basis for justice and objectivity and violates the principle of national sovereignty". - BBC

This illustratest what a poor political choice this was by the Security Council because, as much as I hate to say it, the Sudanese government Information Minister is absolutely correct in his statement. The UN Security Council voted to violate its own charter regarding state sovereignty. Since the nation of Sudan has not ratified the Rome Statute of the ICC, citizens of Sudan should not be subject to its jurisdiction. Article 2(7) of the UN Charter explicitly prohibits this type of intervention into the internal affairs of a sovereign nation. This only reinforces the Sudanese government's accusation of colonial interference, which could make some valuable members of the government unwilling to be seen cooperating with the colonial powers.

Kofi Annan, the Secretary General of the United Nations, has had some peculiar ideas about the definition of sovereignty for quite some time.

"State sovereignty, in its most basic sense, is being redefined—not least by the forces of globalisation and international co-operation. States are now widely understood to be instruments at the service of their peoples, and not vice versa. At the same time individual sovereignty—by which I mean the fundamental freedom of each individual, enshrined in the charter of the UN and subsequent international treaties—has been enhanced by a renewed and spreading consciousness of individual rights. When we read the charter today, we are more than ever conscious that its aim is to protect individual human beings, not to protect those who abuse them." - Secretary General Kofi Annan, 18 SEP 1999

So, with Kofi Annan pushing to redefine the word sovereignty in the UN Charter, it proves that the current and previous administrations were correct to be wary of the United Nations and the International Criminal Court. Also, I have good reason to be pessimistic about the International Criminal's Court to bring those responsible for the genocide in Darfur to justice, let alone to do anything to prevent future war crimes and crimes against humanity. However, I'm willing to be pleasantly surprised by serious, just, and effective prosecution of war criminals in Sudan.

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