south sudan – sudan: peace talks to resume
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decision of the National ProsecutingAuthority (NPA) and the South Afri-can Police Service (SAPS) not to probeZimbabwean ocials linked to acts ofstate-sanctioned torture after a policeraid on the oces of the Movement forDemocratic Change (MDC) in Hararein 2007.
The centre submitted to the NPA inMarch 2008 a number of adavits inwhich 17 people attested to having beentortured in police custody. The centrewanted the NPAs Priority Crimes Liti-gation Unit to probe and prosecute thecrimes because the act states that thecountry is required to investigate andprosecute these crimes regardless ofwhether they were committed in SouthAfrica.
This judgment will send a shiver downthe spines of Zimbabwean ocials whobelieved that they would never be heldto account for their crimes but nowface investigation by the South Africanauthorities, said Nicole Fritz, execu-tive director of the centre.
It means accused Zimbabwe AfricanNational Union-Patriotic Front(ZANU-PF) ocials can be arrestedand tried in South Africa for crimesthey committed in Zimbabwe. JudgeHans Fabricius said that South Africawas obliged to investigate and prose-cute international crimes under theRome statute and under its own Inter-national Criminal Act.
This decision is not just about Zimba-bwe, it also sets a much broader prece-dent by ruling that South Africanauthorities have a duty to investigateinternational crimes wherever they takeplace, said Ms Fritz. It is a majorstep forward for international criminaljustice, she added.
In March 2012, SALC and ZEF arguedin the High Court that the decision ofthe NPA and SAPS not to investigateZimbabwean ocials linked to acts ofstate-sanctioned torture should be setaside.
The case began dramatically when thecentre submitted an adavit fromAnton Ackermann, head of the PriorityCrimes Litigation Unit, in which hesaid he had recommended the allega-tions be investigated and had disagreedwith the reasons the police gave for notpursuing the case. (Sokwanele, Harare8 5; SAPA 8 5)
ZANU-PF has dismissed the ruling asirrelevant with the partys JusticeMinister Patrick Chinamasa saying itwas a general judgement without specif-ics and brought South Africas justicesystem into disrepute.
Dewa Mavhinga from the Crisis inZimbabwe Coalition (CZC) welcomed
the ruling as a victory, not only forZimbabwean torture victims, but forjustice in general.
The judgment comes at a critical timewhen Zimbabwe is preparing for elec-tions and we expect that it will be adeterrent to overzealous party support-ers who may wish to commit politicalviolence, Mavhinga told SW RadioAfrica.
Mavhinga said that ZANU-PFs dis-missal of the ruling was a sign of theiranger, saying: They are jittery aboutwhat this means for their future. (SWRadio Africa, London 10 5)
SOUTH SUDAN SUDANPeace Talks to Resume
A buffer zone is agreed, but theceasere fails and the situationremains tense.
After meeting with South Sudan Presi-dent Salva Kiir Mayardit and his nego-tiating panel in Juba on May 21stThabo Mbeki, the Africa Unions (AU)mediator on the outstanding post-inde-pendence issues between South Sudanand Sudan, said a possible date for theresumption of peace talks betweenSudan and South Sudan could beannounced soon.
Mbeki had previously met with SudansPresident Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir on May 19th to discuss theresumption of talks. He told reportersthat President Bashir conrmed thathe believes the two nations... are inneed of peace.
According to Republic of Sudan Radioon May 20th President al-Bashir set thefollowing conditions for the resumptionof talks: the Sudan Peoples LiberationMovement (SPLM) and the govern-ment of South Sudan must disengagefrom the ninth and 10th divisions ofthe Sudan Peoples Liberation Move-ment North (SPLM-N) in Blue Nileand south Kordofan states; implementall previous agreements; and abandonsheltering or supporting Darfur rebelmovements
The Juba government has denied sup-porting the rebels.
Sudan will not withdraw its troops fromdisputed areas until the borders are for-mally set, but Mr Mbeki said Khartoumhas now agreed to one of UNs keydemands: creating a buer zone.
President Bashir conrmed that Sudanis committed to all security agreementsthat have been agreed to, Mbeki said.This means Sudan is committed to
have a buer zone on the borderbetween the two states, 10 kilometres oneach side, and also Sudan is committedto have a joint mechanism for monitor-ing the border and the buer zone.
Although South Sudan said it hadpulled back its forces according to theUNs call, Khartoums foreign ministrysaid the border must be agreed tobefore a withdrawal can occur.
At a meeting of the Security Councilon May 20th, members adopted a reso-lution demanding the nalisation of ajointly-run administration and policeforce for the disputed border region ofAbyei near Heglig.
Sudan and South Sudan are underpressure from the AU and the UNSecurity Council to honour the May2nd UN Security Council resolution.The resolution warns of non-militarysanctions if both parties do not ceasehostilities in two days and resumenegotiations within two weeks.
Meanwhile the UN Security Councilextended the mandate of UN forces inAbyei. (UN-sponsored Miraya FM website,Juba 21 5; Republic of Sudan Radio, Omdur-man 20 5)
On April 30th South Sudan accepted acall to end hostilities with Sudan andpull troops out of the contested Abyeiregion in order to meet AU demands,but accused Sudan of failing its owncommitments. ( AFP, Addis Ababa30 4)On May 4th the two countries agreedto cease hostilities to honour a UNdeadline, after weeks of bitter borderclashes that sparked fears of full scaleconict.
Troops from the rival armies are duginto fortied defensive positions alongthe restive border, while their ocialstrade bitter accusations. Khartoumclaimed that Juba had not stopped hos-tilities because it continued to occupypoints along the disputed border. Jubarejected the claims and accused Khar-toum of occupying several parts of itsterritory.
Clashes and air strikes by Sudanesewarplanes continued, prompting theUN ultimatum, which included anorder for the two sides to restart AU-mediated peace talks by May 16th.
The UN resolution threatens additionalnon-military sanctions if either sidefails to meet its conditions, and urgesSudan to halt air strikes, which Khar-toum has repeatedly denied carryingout. ( AFP, Juba 4 5)On May 10th the AU welcomed SouthSudans withdrawal of a 700-strongpolice force from Abyei.
Continental Alignments19262 Africa Research Bulletin
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Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2012.
On May 11th the UN warned thatSudanese air strikes in deance of aUN ceasere order, could amount tointernational crimes. ( AFP 11 5)
By May 16th diplomats were workinghard to push the countries to resumenegotiations after missing the UNdeadline for face-to-face talks. (PANA16 5)
Joint talks are to resume on May 29thin Ethiopia, meanwhile both sides con-tinue to trade accusations. (Sudan Visionwebsite, Khartoum 27 5)
Sudanese ocials extended, on May2nd, the expulsion deadline to May 20thfor thousands of ethnic South Sudanesecamped in Kosti (p. 19224A) south ofKhartoum. The government had previ-ously set the expulsion for May 5th of acommunity of between 12,00015,000South Sudanese camped in tents andmakeshift shelters in the Kosti way-sta-tion, waiting to board barges on theWhite Nile for South Sudan.
According to the Juba Embassy inKhartoum, around 350,000 SouthSudanese citizens are still in Sudan.
Under the law approved by the govern-ment, as of April 8th they all needed totake measures to leave the country orcarry out formalities to remain. (MISNA,Rome 2 5)
By May 19th the International Organi-zation for Migration (IOM) said it hadairlifted about 3,000 returnees since theoperation began on May 13th, and themission would continue until mid-June.
According to IOM, about 100 returneesare leaving the transit camps on a dailybasis to join their relatives in Juba.(Miraya FM website, Juba 19 5)
IN BRIEFAlgeria Mali: The terrorists, who hold theten hostages in northern Mali, seven Algeri-ans and three Westerners (two Spanish andone Italian) have demanded 45m for theirrelease. They also demanded the release ofprisoners held in Algeria and Mauritaniaand threatened to carry out attacks againstAlgeria. The Movement for Oneness andJihad in West Africa (MOJWA or MUJAO p.19243) is becoming the most dangerousterrorist organization in northern Mali. (ElWatan website, Algiers 3 5)Kenya Ethiopia: It has been agreed jointlyto demarcate anew their international
boundary following disputes over beaconsand inltration by criminals and bordertribes.
They have agreed to establish military basesalong the common frontier and to shareinformation and intelligence on rebelsincluding the Oromo Liberation Front(OLF) and Ogaden National LiberationFront (ONLF) and other transitional crimi-nals in the vast desert territory separatingthe two countries. (The Standard website,Nairobi 3 5)Western Sahara: Morocco has decided towithdraw its condence in the UN secretary-generals personal envoy in the WesternSahara, Christopher Ross, and asked for are-evaluation of the process of settling thisissue. It said his activities were incompatiblewith the guidelines agreed by negotiations atthe Security Council.
In March, Ross led informal talks in NewYork between Morocco and the PolisarioFront, which is seeking to win the indepen-dence of Western Sahara from Morocco.(MAP news agency, Rabat 17 5)Western Sahara said Moroccos decision wasan intolerable deance of the internationalcommunity, the UN secretary-general andthe UN Security Council Resolution 2044,which viewed the status quo as unaccept-able. It reiterated support for Ross, as didAlgeria. (Algerian TV, Al