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|November 13, 2008|
What about Al-Bashir's announcement of a ceasefire.It seems that Alex De Waal is already celebrating:
"The most important reality today [with announcement of ceasefire] is that the denial and self-imposed political paralysis that have marked the Sudanese political establishment's approach to Darfur have been decisively overcome.. There's a glimmer of hope."
"Decisively overcome"? What am I not seeing?
But Sudanese insiders are more circumspect. Pagan Amum, secretary-general of the Southern Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), a partner in a government of national unity following the 2005 peace deal, said the ceasefire was a good start.
"[But] declarations are not enough. Implementation is what is needed." Amum said this ceasefire alone would not be enough to convince the international community to suspend Bashir's likely indictment by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, but rather, "a peace process, giving results and serious commitment".
Rebels have responded with complete scepticism.
So, while Alex DeWaal's "glimmer of hope" is tempting to see, at this point the ceasefire smacks of pure PR. Until there are major changes on the ground in Darfur: security for civilians and humanitarians, a much more robust deployment of UNAMID, and an inclusive, comprehensive peace agreement implimented - all talk of UN Security Council action vis-a-vis the ICC is premature. And this is certainly true for Article 16 of the Rome Statute, which comes into the ambit of UN SC authority only by means of the 'intl peace and security' responsibilities clause. In other words, Al-Bashir is not even close to warranting Article 16 consideration...but he certainly knows what he has to do.