UN: ICC prosecutor tasks UN Security Council on Darfur war crimes

New York, US (PANA) - International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has chided the UN Security Council for its "empty promises" to bring Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir to trial for atrocities in Darfur, even as his victims cry out for justice amid indiscriminate killings and mass rape.

Ms. Bensouda, who briefed the UN Security Council in New York, stated: "Despite my repeated
requests for the Council to take action with respect to Sudan’s blatant disregard of its obligations, and in violation of its resolutions, my appeals continue to be unheeded."

Noting that it was the Council itself which had referred the case of Sudan to the ICC more
than 10 years ago, she said: "I observe with great regret that the adoption of each resolution has, in practical terms, amounted to no more than an empty promise."

She stressed that Bashir is not only a fugitive from justice who continues to travel across
international borders, but he also harbours other fugitives and refuses to facilitate their
surrender to the ICC.

"In 2005, the Council asked the Hague-based Court to investigate war crimes in Darfur. ICC
judges issued arrest warrants in 2009 for Mr. Bashir and other top officials for genocide,
crimes against humanity and war crimes in the western Darfur region, where up to 300,000
people may have died and over 2 million been displaced since civil war erupted in 2003
between the government and rebels.

"If I may be so bold, this Council must do more to demonstrate its commitment to Darfur,
it must confidently play its part in facilitating the arrest of suspects against whom the
Court has issued warrants of arrest. It must act concretely on the Court's non-compliance
communications," the ICC prosecutor said.

Ms. Bensouda recalled that she had pleaded for Council action in her presentations
before it over the past three years, noting that year after year, the victims’ hopes for
justice and a durable peace have been dashed.

"Instead, the people of Darfur have continued to endure desolation, alleged gross
violations of human rights, indiscriminate killings, mass rape and sexual abuse, while
the individuals against whom ICC arrest warrants have been issued, and who may be
implicated in these crimes, continue to evade justice," she declared.

"Countless victims have been demoralized. After all, who can blame them
when attaining justice appears so remote; not the least because of the absence of
adequate follow-up and support from the Council.

"Their frustration and resignation in the face of inaction must weigh heavily on our
collective conscience," Ms. Bensouda said, urging the Council to take appropriate
measures.

"Terrible crimes allegedly continue to be perpetrated in Darfur, and only strong and
committed action by the Council and States will stop the commission of grave
crimes in Darfur and ensure that the perpetrators of past crimes are held accountable,"
she concluded.
-0-   PANA   AA/AR  16Dec2015

16 december 2015 16:13:59




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