|Africa News Digest
Mbeki, in France, Condemns ICC Sudan Destabilization
July 27 (EIRNS)South African President Thabo Mbeki confronted the London-orchestrated campaign to dismember Sudan, when he said in Paris yesterday, that President Omar al-Bashir must not be prosecuted for war crimes, because it would block the peace process in Darfur. He said the peace process could not be implemented without the active engagement of Bashir, and that Bashir's continued presence as head of state was necessary for Sudan's post-civil war security. He made these comments in a South Africa television interview conducted in Bordeaux, France, after he had attended an EU-South Africa summit there.
"Both of them require the very active participation of President Bashir," Mbeki stated: "I don't know how they would do that if an International Criminal Court says here's a person who has been indicted, because they then must stop interacting with him because this is a wanted criminal, and I don't know how you then implement all of those things."
Mbeki said he was ready to meet Bashir to discuss the ICC intervention into Sudan.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak held talks today with visiting Sudanese Vice President Ali Osman Taha on how to deal with the ICC attack on Sudan. Taha reiterated that the human rights courts that Bashir announced that Sudan will set up, will carry out their mandate, as was agreed to by Sudan with Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa, on his visit to Khartoum. Sudan has agreed to try those responsible for crimes in Darfur, and the proceedings will be under Arab League and African Union (AU) observation.
Taha said the Sudan government still supports dialogue for reaching a political settlement in Darfur. During Bashir's trip to Darfur, he pledged to Rodolphe Adada, the joint special representative of the Darfur peacekeeping mission, on July 23, to boost Sudan's efforts to provide better security for the UN-AU peacekeeping mission there. "You are our guests and our partners," said Bashir, "and we are ready to provide any assistance that will help you do your work."
Arab and African nations have uniformly denounced the ICC's naked political attempt to destabilize Sudan. On July 24, the Organization of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU), which represents 25 million workers of all trade union tendencies, said it was shocked that an ICC arrest warrant has been sought against Bashir. The OATUU called the arrest warrant unhelpful to the ongoing process of negotiations and peace in Darfur, and said it would contribute to the intransigence of the divided foreign-assisted Darfur rebels.
The statement noted that a previous attempt to resolve the Darfur conflict "brokered by the AU, was never respected by the rebels, who instead split into splinter groups, armed and financed by foreign powers." The statement added that any self-respecting government, including the government of the Sudan, cannot fold its arms while rebels armed and financed by foreign powers, want to cheaply exploit the mineral resources of Darfur, at the expense of the suffering Darfur people.
OATUU called on the AU and the UN to stop this flagrant abuse of the international judicial process, aimed at derailing the peace process in Sudan. The New Vision daily in Uganda, a country that has generally supported the City of London financial cartel, pointed out that when Khartoum was attacked by rebels in May, the attackers were not condemned by the international community.
Opposition to ICC Is Strong Throughout Africa
July 28 (EIRNS)In Sudan, all parties have united in opposing the International Criminal Court's (ICC's) intent to prosecute President Omar al-Bashir, calling it a threat to the stability and security of the country. The Sudan National Assembly, in emergency session July 16, unanimously passed a resolution supporting the government. Today, the New York Times is compelled to admit, "In the past few weeks, one sworn political enemy after another has closed ranks behind [Bashir]." The Times reports that Sadiq al-Mahdi, the elected leader of Sudan who was overthrown by Bashir in 1989, has thrown the support of his Umma Party behind Bashir. It could have mentioned that another major opposition party, the Democratic Unionist Party, has done the same. The Times quotes "a senior Western diplomat" in Khartoum: "A lot of the political entities looked into the abyss and were scared"they fear some combination of the implosion of the government, return of al-Qaeda, and the attacks of emboldened rebel groups.
Elsewhere on the continent, according to an editorial in People's Daily (Beijing) today, "The ICC move has given rise to doubts and questions among Africans. Some of these Africans have even queried the Hague-based court why it did not file indictment against any big power which brazenly launched wars (of aggression) against weak nations with heavy ensuing casualties among common people, and could any voice be heard from Hague when Western countries provoked disputes or wars in Africa for the sake of seeking their own interests with an ensuing loss of tens of thousands of lives?... So at this critical moment, what the international community should do is precisely to take pains to press ahead with the [peace process in Sudan] instead of interfering with and impeding it."
AU Disapproval of ICC Included in Peacekeeping Mandate Renewal
Aug. 1 (EIRNS)After tortuous debate and drawn-out negotiations, the UN Security Council last night voted to renew the mandate for the UN peacekeeping force in Darfur, Sudan, two hours before it was to expire. The point of contention was the African Union (AU) demand that the Security Council delay the ICC proceedings against Sudan President Omar al-Bashir by one year. The ICC call for the arrest and prosecution of Bashir is part of an Anglo-Dutch destabilization strategy to partition the country. Sudan has so far been able to hold out against this campaign, because of close economic cooperation with China and other Asian nations. Chinese Ambassador to the UN Wang Guangya said in the Security Council debate, that prosecution of the ICC warrant would "seriously undermine" chances for peace in the region. Libya, South Africa, Russia, and China all backed the AU.
While the Security Council resolution did not call for the one-year delay of the ICC proceedings, it noted the request from the AU for the Council to use its power to suspend any indictment of Bashir, and agreed to discuss any ICC indictment of the Sudanese President. Although this was objected to by Britain, France, and the United States, it passed by 14 votes, with the United States abstaining, in opposition to the inclusion of the statement acknowledging AU concern.
New City of London Attempt To Force Mbeki Out Now
Aug. 3 (EIRNS)The Sunday Times of Johannesburg today launched a smear campaign against South African President Thabo Mbeki and the ruling African National Congress. The Times is seeking to destroy South Africa's leading institutions, as has previously been publicized by the Economist, mouthpiece of the City of London.
While the material being used by the Times for the attack on South Africa is hearsay, and has been reported before, the Times is pushing to get Mbeki out of office before his term is up in eight months. Times editor Mondli Makhanya, in an audio interview on the Times website, treats Mbeki as proven guilty, and says: "We at the Sunday Times believe Mbeki betrayed us and cannot stay on for the eight months until the election."
The Times is majority-owned by Hosken Consolidated Investments Limited, which invests in gambling, media and broadcasting, hotels and leisure, transport, industry, food and beverages, and information technology. Tokyo Sexwale, a political opponent of Mbeki, who was once charged with being part of a coup attempt against the President, has a 30% share in the Times holding company.
The Times alleges that Mbeki accepted a bribe of 30 million rand (roughly $5 million) from a German shipbuilder, in exchange for a submarine contract, and that he gave R28 million of it to the ruling ANC and R2 million to Jacob Zuma, then his Vice President, who is now president of the ANC and an opponent of Mbeki, and is in line to be the ANC candidate for South African President.
The Times alleges that a "central European manufacturer," defending against a hostile takeover bid from the shipbuilder MAN Ferrostaal, hired "a British specialist risk company" to investigate MAN Ferrostaal, and the Times' charges are based on that "secret report," which claims to have information from a former South African official.
While the South African Presidency has denied the charges, the ANC Youth League's National Executive Committee (NEC), now allied with Zuma, "resolved that the President ... must be recalled and will further engage the NEC of the ANC on the possibility of calling an early general election," according to spokeswoman Maropene Ntuli, on Aug. 2.