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African Union: Hybrid Court to Try Perpetrators of Darfur Crimes

(Nov. 6, 2009) It was reported on October 29, 2009, that the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council summit endorsed the AU Panel on Darfur (AUPD)'s proposal for the creation of a special court to try the perpetrators of crimes committed in Darfur. The court would have Sudanese judges, as well as non-Sudanese judges to be nominated by the AU. (Aisha Umar, AU Endorses Special Court to Deal with Darfur Conflicts, DAILY TRUST, Oct. 29, 2009, available at

In addition, the AU endorsed the following actions:

· the introduction of legislation to remove the immunity of state officials suspected of crimes in relation to Darfur;

· the establishment of a Trust, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (much like the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission) to promote truth telling and reconciliation and to grant pardons when appropriate;

· the creation of inclusive conditions for a successful national election in April 2010 and the guarantee of Darfur's participation in the national debate on the issue of the Southern Sudan referendum; and

· the establishment of an AU High Level Implementation Panel to assist in the implementation of AUPD recommendations and the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. (Id.)

The AU Council noted that while it was still committed to fight impunity, ultimately the Darfur problem requires a political settlement on the basis of “power sharing, wealth sharing, national reconciliation and pursuit of the objective of the national unity in diversity.” (Id.) It called on the United Nations Security Council to temporarily halt, “in the interest of peace, justice and reconciliation,” the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court against Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir. (Id.)