Ali Osman Taha

Ali Osman Mohammed Taha (Arabic: علي عثمان محمد طه‎, also transliterated "Othman" or "Uthman") is a Sudanese politician who was First Vice President of Sudan from July 2011 to December 2013. Previously he was Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1993 to 1995, First Vice President from 1995 to January 2005, and Second Vice President from August 2005 to July 2011. He is a member of the National Congress Party.

Ali Osman Mohammed Taha
Ali Osman Taha in 2010, New York City (cropped).jpg
Taha, September 2010.
First Vice President of Sudan
In office
July 9, 2011 – December 6, 2013
PresidentOmar al-Bashir
Preceded bySalva Kiir Mayardit
Succeeded byBakri Hassan Saleh
In office
August 1995 – January 2005
PresidentOmar al-Bashir
Preceded byZubair Mohamed Salih
Succeeded byJohn Garang
Second Vice President of Sudan
In office
January 9, 2005 – July 9, 2011
PresidentOmar al-Bashir
Preceded byMoses Kacoul Machar
Succeeded byAlhaj Adam Yousef
Foreign Minister of Sudan
In office
1995–1998
Preceded byHussein Suleiman Abu Saleh
Succeeded byMustafa Osman Ismail
Personal details
Born (1944-01-01) January 1, 1944 (age 76)
Political partyNational Congress

Taha is a graduate of the Faculty of Law at the University of Khartoum. He then set up a private law practice before being appointed as a judge and then entering politics as a member of Sudan's parliament in the 1980s.

Taha, along with John Garang, is credited as being the co-architect of Sudan's Comprehensive Peace Agreement which brought Africa's longest civil war to an end on 9 January 2005. The agreement capped an eight-year process to stop the civil war, which since 1983 had taken 2 million lives.[1] Starting in December 2003 Taha and Garang met numerous times to finalize the peace agreement.[2]

Taha heads the Sudanese side of the Sudanese-Egyptian High Committee, which was headed on the Egyptian side by Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif and includes Ministers from both countries and aims to foster cooperation between the two countries.

Omar al-Bashir reappointed Taha as Second Vice President in May 2010 in spite of speculations that he would be replaced by a more hard-line NCP member or a Darfurian.[3] Taha was viewed as a moderate figure in the NCP regime and a possible successor to Bashir, although some have suggested that Bashir might have preferred that his successor be a hard-liner.[4]

On April 11, 2019, Taha was arrested following a coup which overthrew al-Bashir.[5][6]

On May 27, 2020, Sudan’s public prosecution service announced that Taha had tested positive for COVID-19 and was subsequently placed in quarantine.[7]

Involvement in the Darfur CrisisEdit

Taha was responsible for handling the Darfur crisis from 2003 to 2004.[8] Community leaders in Darfur have reported that Taha holds personal ties with Musa Hilal and was instrumental in releasing Hilal from prison in 2003.[9] Taha apparently assigned Hilal the authority to recruit and command a militia group, which became known as "Quick, Light and Horrible Forces of Misteriha."[10] Government help for Hilal was reported to be very open and was coordinated through Taha.[9] Taha was quoted as saying to commanders of the Janjaweed militia, "I don't want one single village of Zurgas in Darfur. All the Zurga lands are yours."[11] After an attack by the Janjaweed militia and the Armed Forces in the town of Kyla, a survivor from the Fur tribe reported that the attackers sang, "Hail the name of Allah, our orders came from Ali Usman Taha."[12]

In 2005 Taha opposed holding trials outside Sudan after 51 individuals were accused, by a United Nations commission of inquiry, of war crimes and crimes against humanity.[13] Taha argued that doing so would "push things to degenerate rather than help people to reconcile or maintain peace."[14] In 2008, Taha also opposed the ICC indictment of President Omar al-Bashir by arguing that, "We can't go along with implementing the CPA or other agreements with a president that is subject to international trial."[15] In the same year, the Associated Press quoted reliable sources saying Taha would be charged with crimes similar to those that President Omar al-Bashir had been charged with.[16] In February 2009, Taha reportedly traveled to Turkey seeking the nation's support to save Sudan's president, al-Bashir, from trial.[17]

Taha is mentioned several times in the application of arrest for President Omar al-Bashir, submitted by Luis Moreno Ocampo, prosecutor of the ICC. For example, Commissioner Rabeh told Janjaweed militia commanders that the General Commander in Khartoum and Taha ordered the provision of armament for the elimination of zurgas.[11] Zurga is a derogatory term for people from African tribes.[18]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ “Sudan’s VP and rebel leader sign comprehensive peace agreement.” Sudan Tribune. January 2005.[1]
  2. ^ “Wealth-Sharing Pact by Sudan and Rebels Seen.” The New York Times. December 2003.[2]
  3. ^ "Salva Kiir and Ali Osman appointed deputies of Sudan's President - Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan". www.sudantribune.com.
  4. ^ Ulf Laessing, "Analysis: Sudan's Bashir plays to hardliners to stem succession debate", Reuters, 3 July 2013.
  5. ^ "More than 100 people arrested from president's team in Sudan, including prime minister". TASS.
  6. ^ "Sudan's President Steps Down After Months of Protests". Al Bawaba.
  7. ^ "Sudan says 3 jailed members of ousted Bashir regime have coronavirus". Reuters. 28 May 2020. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  8. ^ "Sudan contemplated extraditing Darfur suspects to ICC: Official." Sudan Tribune. June 2008 [3]
  9. ^ a b Vice-President Ali Osman Taha December, 2005
  10. ^ "Public Redacted Version of the Prosecutor's Application Under Article 58." ICC July, 2008 (80)
  11. ^ a b "Public Redacted Version of the Prosecutor's Application Under Article 58." ICC July, 2008 (84)
  12. ^ "Public Redacted Version of the Prosecutor's Application Under Article 58." ICC July, 2008 (35)
  13. ^ "Sudan insists on its courts for Darfur crimes, but others want international trials." Sudan Tribune. Feb. 2005.[4]
  14. ^ "Sudan insists on its courts for Darfur crimes, but others want international trials." Sudan Tribune. Feb. 2005.[5]
  15. ^ "Sudanese officials visit capitals to campaign against the ICC." Sudan Tribune. July 2008.[6]
  16. ^ "China seeks UN resolution to suspend ICC Darfur indictments." Sudan Tribune. July 2008.[7]
  17. ^ News, Hürriyet Daily. "Gov't keeps up Sudan defense". www.hurriyet.com.tr.
  18. ^ "Sudan VP Taha instrumental in mobilizing Janjaweed: ICC." Sudan Tribune. September 2008.[8]

External linksEdit