A security officer working with the joint African Union-United Nations peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) has been assaulted by Sudanese Government military personnel, the mission reported today.
The security officer was forced into a vehicle yesterday and taken to a military intelligence office after he had gone to the market in El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur state, to investigate a road accident. After his release he was taken to a UNAMID hospital for treatment.
Meanwhile, on the potentially not unrelated topic of ICC action in Sudan, Joshua Keating at FP Passport reports that Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has vocally defended his Sudanese counterpart, Omar al-Bashir. Another recent would-be protector of Bashir is Russia’s UN ambassador, who explained his reasoning thusly:
“I think the Security Council has this responsibility,” he said. “We respect the independence of the prosecutor and the ICC. However, there is a responsibility for the Security Council, and it cannot walk away from this responsibility.”
Unless this responsibility is to undermine the ICC–which it most explicitly is not–then the Security Council should avoid prematurely calling for a one-year suspension of the ICC’s jurisdiction in Darfur until after a robust and even-handed debate on the matter. The Security Council itself recommended that the ICC investigate Sudan just two years ago, so to back off on that decision so soon after a major breakthrough in the Court’s work would appear a bit rash.
Sudan’s most recent proposal to try suspects–and determine which suspects to try–on its own does not seem entirely credible.