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March 31, 2005

The Right Thing on Darfur
Posted by Suzanne Nossel

This is big stuff.  See prior discussion.  More later or from others.

Washington will let ICC hold Darfur trials: report
Last Updated Wed, 30 Mar 2005 23:45:07 EST
CBC News

WASHINGTON - The United States has agreed to let the International Criminal Court try people accused of committing war crimes in Sudan's Darfur region, a news report says.

Washington had strongly opposed holding the trials at the UN court in The
Hague, but agreed to a compromise on Wednesday, the Associated Press
reported, citing officials from the administration of President George W.

The United States doesn't support the court because it says it fears
political enemies might launch frivolous or politically motivated prosecutions against U.S. citizens.

The officials, who asked not to be named because the deal hasn't been
made public, told the news agency the compromise includes guarantees that the ICC could not prosecute Americans deployed in Sudan

The compromise marked the latest development in drawn-out efforts by the
Security Council to deal with the crisis in Darfur.

Fighting between government-backed militias and rebels has killed about
180,000 in the region. As many as 350,000 people may have died of pneumonia, diarrhea and malnutrition and more than 1.2 million have been driven from their villages in the past 18 months alone.

Human-rights groups and other observers - including former U.S. secretary
of  state Colin Powell - have condemned the violence as genocide.

Many have urged the UN to deploy a peacekeeping force to quell the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

But discussions at the UN's Security Council have repeatedly been stalled
by political wrangling, as the deaths continue.

On March 29, the Security Council voted to impose a travel ban and freeze
assets of people who commit atrocities in Darfur.

A few days earlier, it unanimously approved a resolution to send 10,000
peacekeepers to southern Sudan - but the troops won't be going to Darfur.


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