The think tank Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik in Berlin has issued a new publication on South Sudan. In “Back to Square One” Annette Weber explains the violent clashes in South Sudan which happened in the last weeks. She puts them in line with the power struggle within the South Sudanese government. In this very insightful publication, Weber details the challenges before the government and society of South Sudan.

Three days ago the ICC officially notified the UN Security Council of the failure of Djibouti and Uganda to arrest Omar al-Bashir while he was present in these two countries. Both are state parties to the ICC and thus obliged by treaty law to arrest al-Bashir due to an arrest warrant by the ICC. This is not the first time a state party has failed to do so.

Today, Rwanda has reiterated its invitation to the Sudanese President, who is supposed to attend an AU summit in Kigali starting tomorrow. Even though Rwanda is not a state party to the ICC and consequently under no obligation to arrest the president, it shows the respect that states have for the ICC, which at least in most parts of Africa is not-existent.

The UN Security Council will probably ignore the communications referring to Uganda and Djibouti and it will most likely ignore al-Bashir’s attendance of the AU-summit.

Every six months, the Prosecutor of the ICC reports to the UN Security Council on the Darfur-situation. Every six months, the Prosecutor brings no news and repeats her calls for help. Every six months, the members of the Security Council agree and disagree on her report and criticism, albeit they agree to not act upon her calls. In June 2016, the Prosecutor delivered her 23rd report about the situation in Darfur. And very similar to the 22nd report (here) she cannot deliver real news; too few developments took place while “grave crimes continue to be committed in Darfur” (Statement of the ICC Prosecutor). Den Rest des Artikels lesen >

Aprils referendum in Darfur is over and the result is in: Voters opted to retain the status quo, separating Darfur in five administrative states (here, here, here). Official numbers state that 97% of the voters opted for five states while the rest wanted a single-state-solution. The referendum took place despite outcry in the weeks prior (here) and the boycott by major opposition groups. Opposition forces pushed for a reform, giving a single state more Autonomy over the central government in Khartoum. The government, in contrast, fears that a united Darfur would fuel efforts to separate Darfur from Sudan, much like South Sudan became independent in 2011.

The special Prosecutor for Darfur has claimed that rebel groups in Darfur use child soldiers in their fight against the central government, as reported by the Sudan Tribune. In his assessment, those (unnamed) groups violate international as well as domestic law.

Human Rights Watch has published the following article on its website: Dispatches: Inaction on Darfur, Again.

On 10 February 2016 the UN Security Council adopted resolution 2265 (2016) addressing the Darfur-conflict. While lamenting the deteriorating situation and the lack of progress, the Security Council failed to address the conflict in a meaningful way. Den Rest des Artikels lesen >

At the end of January 2016, the Under-Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations updated the UN Security Council on the work of UNAMID. In essence, the report unveils further instances of clashes between armed groups and non-cooperation by the Sudanese government. Den Rest des Artikels lesen >

The Special Criminal Court for Darfur has sentenced three persons for armed robbery. According to the Sudan Tribune, the three men were convicted of charges of armed robbery and sentenced to a decade-long prison term.

The Special Criminal Court was set up to deal with alleged violations of international law. The Sudanese government intended to conduct (or rather pretended to intent) national criminal proceedings which in turn would have made investigations by the ICC superfluous. The current example is yet another demonstration of how Sudan is not willing to conduct domestic trials. As the Sudan Tribune reports, until today no Sudanese officials were charged with crimes under review by the ICC. In short, the issue of subsidiary jurisdiction (cf. art. 17 Rome Statute) by the ICC is none.

Human Rights Watch has made accusations of rape as a weapon of war against the Sudanese government (here). According to today’s press release

Patterns of rape across Darfur in 2014 and 2015 show that various Sudanese units have deliberately committed rape and other sexual violence against large numbers of women in many attacks at various locations and times. No one is known to have been held accountable.

In its World Report 2016 Human Rights Watch refers to many incidents of rape, mostly in the Jebel Marra region and including the case of Tabit in North Darfur. Almost one year after Human Rights Watch released its report on “Mass Rape in Darfur” (read the report here and a blogpost here) the international community has lost interest in this case. During the Security Council’s last briefing on Darfur, the case was not mentioned (more here). Human Rights Watch attributes this lack of interest in part on the impossibility to investigate the incident. Especially UNAMID had been denied access by the central government, thus making an impartial official report impossible.