AU seeks local solution to Darfur crisis

February 8, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 8 – A high level African Union (AU) panel that is spearheading resolution of the Darfur crisis, has recommended the formation of a hybrid court to deliver justice.

Led by former Presidents Thabo Mbeki (South Africa) and Pierre Buyoya (Burundi) the panelists said Sudan needed a local solution to restore confidence of the people.

“The court will be made up of Sudanese judges who will be joined by judges to be appointed by the AU, ” said Mr Mbeki who said his team was determined to resolve the conflict before the country’s general elections that are slated for April this year.

The African Union High Level Implementation Panel on Darfur met with President Mwai Kibaki and his predecessor Daniel Arap Moi on Monday.

Mr Mbeki said the panel would continue with engagements at different stages to see to it that the accord is implemented to end the war that has destabilised Africa’s largest country.

Mr Mbeki further said the panel had held talks with International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo in Addis Ababa last month. He said they asked the ICC to hand over the case against Sudanese President Omar al Bashir to the country.

However, Mr Ocampo reportedly said only ICC judges could make that decision.

“He said the decision was with the judges and if anybody wanted to change any of those decisions or make an impact, those people would have to appear before the judges,” Mr Mbeki explained.

The Sudan case was referred to the ICC by the United Nations Security Council.

President Bashir was indicted by the ICC over war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur making it the first action against a sitting Head of State.

Despite a warrant of arrests Mr Mbeki said the AU and the people of Sudan were concerned over the violence and were determined to end it, “President al Bashir is concerned; he also wants to ensure the conflict is ended.”

The panel was appointed by the AU to help solve the Darfur conflict, implement the peace accord and assist Sudan with its upcoming elections.


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