Annual Report: Sudan 2011

May 28, 2011

Annual Report: Sudan 2011

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The Assembly of the AU reaffirmed in July its decision not to co-operate with the ICC in relation to the arrest and surrender of President Al Bashir. The Assembly asked AU member states to comply with its decision. President Al Bashir visited Chad and Kenya, both states parties to the Rome Statute, in July and August.

The Sudanese government did not co-operate with the ICC. The three people against whom the ICC had issued arrest warrants - President Al Bashir, Ahmed Haroun, governor of South Kordofan since May 2009, and Ali Kushayb, former Janjaweed leader - also remained free from prosecution in Sudan.

Armed conflict - Darfur

In February, as the prospect of a peace agreement was being discussed in Doha by the government and various armed groups from Darfur, the government launched a military campaign in Darfur. Armed clashes between government troops and the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) Abdel Wahid faction, mainly in the Jebel Marra area in West Darfur, led to the displacement of an estimated 100,000 people between February and June. The joint UN-AU Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) and humanitarian organizations were denied access to the Jebel Marra area for several months. Fighting between various communities also escalated and was exacerbated by divisions within armed groups. Inter-communal fighting and clashes between government troops and the SLA/Abdel Wahid and the JEM led to hundreds of civilian casualties.

The framework agreement signed in Doha included an exchange of prisoners and the government released 57 alleged JEM prisoners in February. Fifty of them had been sentenced to death by special counter-terrorism courts following the JEM attack on Khartoum in May 2008.

The governments of Sudan and Chad formed a joint force to patrol their borders and the government of Chad denied Khalil Ibrahim, leader of the JEM which was mainly based in eastern Chad, access to its territory. While Khalil Ibrahim took refuge in Libya, the JEM re-entered Darfur. The agreement between the JEM and the Sudanese government collapsed, leading to military confrontations including in the Jebel Moon area.

In Kalma camp in South Darfur, armed clashes between supporters and opponents of the Doha peace process led to tens of casualties amongst camp residents in July and forced half the residents out of the camp. The camp's inhabitants were denied access to humanitarian aid by the government for several weeks while those who left the camp were not easily traceable by humanitarian agencies.

In September, the government adopted a new strategy for Darfur to control the conflict, encouraging the "voluntary" return of internally displaced people (IDPs) to their areas of origin, and planning a shift from recovery to development activities. The new strategy was rejected by several armed groups and political parties who alleged that the government was attempting to dismantle the camps and force people to return to their villages while pursuing a military solution to the conflict.