South Sudan President calls for urgent peace road map for Darfur

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South Sudan President Salva Kiir has called for an urgent peace road map for Darfur in the wake of the International Criminal Court (ICC) indictment against President Omar El-Bashir and called for an understanding with the world court.

“We believe that the solution to the crisis is for the government of National Unity to forge an understanding with the international community and to cooperate with the ICC on the legal process,” the Southern Sudanese leader said in a statement. Sudan does not recognise the ICC.

The Southern Sudan leader also called for an urgent resolution of the Darfur conflict, saying Sudan’s unity government should be able to come up with a Darfur peace road map within a week, after which consensus could be built on the way forward.

But the Sudanese parliament, sitting on Wednesday in Khartoum, rejected the ICC indictment of the Sudanese leader, saying its proposal for an arrest warrant against the President of the republic was a threat to Sudan’s stability and security.

Kiir, whose statement was issued by an aide in Juba, the capital of the semi-autonomous Southern Sudan, agreed that the ICC indictment “has understandably created a serious situation that could threaten peace and stability in the Sudan.”

Earlier, the Southern Sudanese leader, also Sudan’s First Vice President in the Government of National Unity, told a visiting Japanese delegation that the arrest warrant against President Bashir was “unfortunate” and asked for international support against it.

He said the Darfur crisis was a political issue arising out of long and continuous political, economic and cultural marginalisation since independence of the Sudan in 1956.

“Resolving this situation requires a negotiated and peaceful settlement of the conflict between the parties,” Kiir said in the statement.

Meanwhile, the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM) rank and file appear to have taken a soft stance against the ICC indictment of President El-Bashir.

SPLM Members of Parliament in Khartoum have stated that the only way out of the current ICC indictment of the Sudanese leader is an urgent political breakthrough in Darfur, without which the ICC indictment would continue to hang over Sudan.

SPLM Deputy Secretary General Yessir Arman, who heads the party’s parliamentary wing, was quoted on Wednesday as urging the Sudanese political class to come together under a united front to face up the crisis in Darfur.


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