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Press Release: What the Warrant Means: Justice, Peace and the Key Actors in Sudan

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Press Release: What the Warrant Means: Justice, Peace and the Key Actors in Sudan

Posted by Enough Team on February 12, 2009


For Immediate Release
February 12, 2009

Eileen White Read, 202.741.6376
[email protected]

REPORT: What the Warrant Means: Justice, Peace and the Key Actors in Sudan

WASHINGTON, DC, February 12, 2009 – A new report by the Enough Project at the Center for American Progress explores the impact of an arrest warrant for Sudan’s President on the ruling party, Darfuri rebel groups, the existing north-south peace agreement, and the international community. The decision by the Pre-Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court, or ICC, to issue an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is both welcome and unsurprising given the long pattern of profound abuses in Sudan directed from the highest echelons of government.


The response of key actors in Sudan to the ICC’s move against Bashir is still obviously a work in progress, but the choices made in the coming weeks by Bashir’s National Congress, or NCP, the main rebel groups in Darfur, and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, will have profound impact on the country’s future.  Understanding the calculations of these actors is fundamental to leveraging the arrest warrant into progress toward peace.


Enough Project Executive Director John Norris commented, “As we have learned from earlier indictments of Liberian President Charles Taylor and Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, these charges can be a catalyst for peace — if the international community stands resolutely behind efforts to promote accountability while simultaneously pursuing a strategic approach to a peace process. The situation in Sudan is no different.” Senior officials within Bashir’s NCP are deeply concerned about the possibility of further charges by the ICC, and a growing fissure between Bashir’s loyalists and potentially more pragmatic elements of the NCP could lead to the president’s removal.


The international community must now fashion a firm and coordinated peace strategy conditioned on actions rather than words and policies rather than personalities. What should be clear to the international community, including the United States, is that President Bashir should be delivered to the court to face a fair trial on the charges against him. Furthermore, the international community needs to use multilateral diplomacy, well targeted pressures, and judicious incentives to bring both the NCP and Darfur’s rebel groups to the negotiating table, while making a major effort to revitalize the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, or CPA, as part of a broader and more strategic peace effort for all of Sudan.


Enough Project Co-chair John Prendergast observed, "The arrest warrant for President Bashir is the potential game-changer that the Sudanese people have been waiting for, in order to shake up the deadly status quo that has led to millions of deaths in Darfur and Southern SudanThe warrant offers the Obama administration a chance to lead multilateral efforts to bring about a solution to Sudan’s decades-long cycle of warfare.   Working publicly for a peace deal for Darfur and privately for Bashir's resignation will provide the necessary international leadership that has been lacking for some time."


For the latest news and reactions to the ICC’s actions, see Enough Said, the new blog from the Enough Project policy team, at

Read the report (pdf)