THE HAGUE (Reuters) - Below is reaction to the International Criminal Court’s decision to issue an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir.
“They do not want Sudan to become stable.”
“The court is only one mechanism of neo-colonialist policy used by the West against free and independent countries.”
“The charging of President Bashir by the ICC has complicated things. The rebels ask how they will be able to negotiate with a president who will go to prison? That is what is blocking negotiations.”
ABDEL WAHED MOHAMED AHMED AL-NUR, FOUNDER OF THE DARFUR
“Bashir and his Islamic fundamentalist government will never give up power. But the Sudan Liberation Movement and other believers in justice and human rights are ready to remove him from power through a popular uprising and a hundred other ways.... (The ICC decision) is a great victory for justice in the world, a great victory for the people of Darfur, for the hundreds of thousands of people who have been killed, raped and tortured by this regime.”
SUDAN PEOPLE’S LIBERATION MOVEMENT (SPLM) SENIOR MEMBER GIER
“(Southern President Silva Kiir) is the head of our party and this is our statement. Sudan should stand with Bashir at this hard time.”
“We foresee three possible scenarios for Sudan following the verdict: status quo with Bashir strengthened in the short term (65 percent likelihood), a sharp escalation of violence that threatens the north-south peace (20 percent), or Bashir removed by the ruling NCP opening up a diplomatic window of opportunity (15 percent).
“While the decision poses little immediate risk to Sudan’s oil production, the oil-rich south is more likely than ever to vote for independence in 2011, putting it on a collision course with Khartoum that threatens a return to war in the next two years. The main Sudan risks (downside and upside) are not immediate, nor directly tied to the ICC ruling, but loom in the medium term as the southern referendum nears.”
“We support the independent process that has led to this decision, which we fully respect. We have consistently urged the Government of Sudan to cooperate with the Court over existing arrest warrants. We deeply regret that the Government has not taken these allegations seriously or engaged with the Court, and we repeat today our call for its cooperation.”
“The United States believes those who have committed atrocities should be brought to justice.”
“Not even presidents are guaranteed a free pass for horrific crimes. By ruling there is a case for President al-Bashir to answer for the horrors of Darfur, the warrant breaks through Khartoum’s repeated denials of his responsibility.”
“The untimely fulfillment of the ICC decision to arrest the President of Sudan will create a dangerous precedent in the system of international relations and could negatively affect the situation both inside Sudan and the overall situation in the region.” — quoted by RIA news agency.
INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE, JUAN MENDEZ
“The reality about the peace process for Darfur is that no serious peace process exists. We know from history that silence in the face of atrocities does not prevent further crimes. The warrant could be an opportunity for the first real progress in Darfur.”
GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER FRANK-WALTER STEINMEIER
“The German government supports the International Criminal Court as an independent organ of international justice. It guarantees that serious crimes do not go unpunished and that victims do not remain unatoned for.
“I urge Sudan to respect the ICC decision and to react in a sober way. That includes sticking to international rules to protect foreign missions and non-governmental bodies.”
“We will make an evaluation on this issue but the African Union and the Arab League are closely involved in this issue and they have a position. The overall attitude is that the Sudanese administration’s cooperation is needed for solving the problems concerning Sudan, and we hope that the developments from now on will be rational developments and will aim to solve Sudan’s problems on the ground. We do not desire to see developments which will increase problems in Sudan and push Sudan more into deadlock.”
“France underlines its support for the international criminal court. It calls on Sudan to cooperate fully with the court immediately to put into action the decision of the judges ... The fight against (legal) impunity is inseparable from the search for peace in Darfur as elsewhere in the world.”
“Congratulations to all Sudanese... this is a historic day. We (JEM) support this decision completely. This is a victory for international law. Sovereignty does not protect the tyrants. We will cooperate with the ICC to execute this warrant. Omar Bashir must turn himself in now.”
AHMED ABDEL SHAFIE, LEADER OF A REBEL SUDAN LIBERATION ARMY
“We have been waiting for this for a long time. But it has not come too late. We are very happy today. Now we are waiting for arrest warrants against the other government officials who are responsible for the crimes against humanity in Darfur - all the other members of the NCP (Bashir’s dominant National Congress Party) ... Khartoum is going to react violently against Darfur’s population. And we are ready to defend our people.”
“The UN Security Council should make clear to Sudanese authorities that threats or attacks against UN peacekeepers, humanitarian workers or civilians in Darfur or elsewhere in Sudan in retaliation for the ICC’s decision to issue an arrest warrant are not acceptable.”