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As Bombs Drop in Sudan, Peers Call for Further Referral of Khartoum to the International Criminal Court
Subject: Southern Kordofan and Abyei – Peers Call for Khartoum to be referred to International Criminal Court for Crimes Against Humanity.
FOR URGENT CONSIDERATION by The Rt. Hon. William Hague Minister of State The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (text of a letter from Baroness Cox, Lord Alton of Liverpool and Lord Avebury).
June 10th 2011
We are writing to you to ask for your urgent response to the rapidly deteriorating situation in Southern Kordofan and Abyie. Latest reports from respected partners on the ground – NGOs, including many well-recognised charities – have starkly described the situation as ‘ethnic cleansing’. Yesterday, we met a senior official from the interim Government of Southern Sudan who estimates the number of recently displaced people as between 200,000 and a quarter of a million. With the oncoming rainy season, this is a humanitarian catastrophe in the making, reminiscent of Darfur. The aerial bombardment of civilians is a crime against humanity; the ethnic cleansing could soon become genocide. We would urge you to take immediately the following steps: (i) To raise the issue at the UN Security Council; (ii) To call for the ICC to extend its enquiries and remit from Darfur to include these regions of Abyie and Southern Kordofan; (iii) To establish whether UNMIS is merely acting as a passive observer as the horrors unfold; and, if so, to call for an extension of its remit to fulfil the requirement of a ‘duty to protect’; (iv) With Andrew Mitchell to respond urgently to the severe and escalating humanitarian crisis in both Abyie and Southern Kordofan; (v) As I write this letter, we are receiving reports of aerial bombardment of Unity State in Southern Sudan; if this is happening, to consider the implications of this extension of hostilities and its implications for the destabilisation of Southern Sudan with the forthcoming declaration of Independence on July 9th; and to offer the interim Government of Southern Sudan all appropriate support to maintain its preparations for Independence.
Baroness Cox of Queensbury, Lord Alton of Liverpool and Lord Avebury. ——————————————————————————————————————————————————— House of Lords Questions for Written Answer : Abyei and Southern Kordofan Tabled June 9th ;
Lord Alton of Liverpool to ask Her Majesty’s Government whether, in the light of events in Abyei and Southern Kordofan they will ask the United Nations Security Council to consider extending the inquiry of the International Criminal Court into Field Marshall Omar al Bashir and his indictment in respect of crimes against humanity elsewhere in Sudan to cover current events in Abyei and Southern Kordofan _____________________________________________
House of Lords Questions for Written Answer : Abyei and Southern Kordofan Tabled on 8 June and due for answer by 22 June.
Lord Alton of Liverpool to ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of who has been responsible for the fighting in Kadugli, the Sudanese capital of Southern Kordofan; of the number of people who have been displaced; of the role of the United Nations mission; and of the humanitarian and security implications. HL9782 Lord Alton of Liverpool to ask Her Majesty’s Government whether recent events in Abyei and South Kordofan will affect the United Kingdom’s intention to grant official recognition to the Republic of South Sudan on 9 July. HL9783 Lord Alton of Liverpool to ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they are taking to persuade the government of Sudan to seek a negotiated future for the 75,000 Sudan People’s Liberation Army soldiers in Joint Integrated Units in South Kordofan and Blue Nile regions of Sudan. HL9784
Lord Alton of Liverpool to ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the displacement of the Ngok Dinka people from Abyei, Sudan, and the attempt to prevent supplies from reaching them by closing the border, constitutes a policy of ethnic cleansing; and whether they will provide extra assistance so that the Dinka Ngok people can survive in areas of Northern Warrap, and are not forced to move further South away from Abyei.
HL9785 Lord Alton of Liverpool to ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the number of people displaced from Abyei, Sudan.
HL9786 Lord Alton of Liverpool to ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the impact on the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of recent events in Abyei and South Kordofan, Sudan.
HL9787 Lord Alton of Liverpool to ask her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of reports on June 10th 2011 that between 30,000 and 40,000 people have fled fighting in Kadugli, Southern Kordofan, and of reports, also on June 10th, of aerial bombardment of Parieng County of South Sudan’s Unity State.
Lord Alton of Liverpool to ask Her Majesty’s Government why UNMIS forces in Southern Kordofan have played no active part in preventing the displacement of 200,000 people; to set out the terms of the UNMIS mandate; and to state whether HMG believes that a passive by-standing role accords with the UN doctrine of a “duty to protect.”
Lord Alton of Liverpool to ask her Majesty’s Government to set out what events have to occur in a territory before they call for an investigation into crime against humanity and before they designate such acts as aggression as ethnic cleansing; and whether current events in Southern Kordofan and Abyei meet these criteria.
For 18 years David Alton was a Member of the House of Commons and today he is an Independent Crossbench Life Peer in the UK House of Lords.
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