The Nexus Between International Criminal Justice and Political Strategies of War; the ICC indictments in Sudan
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For nearly two decades, academics have debated the nexus between peace and justice. While justice is often identified as being one of the key pillars of a long lasting peace, there is a friction between the twin objectives as the pursuit of justice during conflict is believed to pose the danger of obstructing the peace process or prolonging conflict. In recent years the International Criminal Court has brought new imputes to this “peace versus justice” debate. The ICC indictment that was issued against Sudanese president Hassan Omar al-Bashir in March 2009 was particularly criticized as it was expected to have detrimental effects on the peace process in Darfur. Because of the possible consequences of the indictments against president al-Bashir, the African Union requested a deferral of the indictment to the UN Security Council. In response to the request for a deferral this thesis examines the justifiability of the AU’s request. Having examined the interdependent relation between the ICC, the Government of Sudan and the peace processes in Darfur and South Sudan, the outcome of this research suggests that instead of disrupting the peace processes in Sudan, there are indications that ICC indictments might have contributed to increased commitment to the political peace process in South Sudan by the regime in Khartoum.