Sudan's ICC dilemma

19 January 2011 by Mohammed Abdulrahman

As Southern Sudan takes its final steps towards separating from Khartoum and becoming an independent state, one of its immediate challenges will be how it would deal with international justice issues.

The three biggest neighbours of the imminent Southern Sudan state - Northern Sudan, Kenya, and Uganda – all have dealt, directly or indirectly, with the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The most serious test concerns Northern Sudan, as President Omar al Bashir is the ICC’s most prominent fugitive. The court’s prosecutor has charged him with genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Darfur. All countries that have ratified the Rome Statute – the court’s governing treaty – must arrest Bashir if he visits any of these states. If Southern Sudan should choose to become an ICC member, it would severely impede the new state’s dealings with its northern neighbour.

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