ICC tasks UN Security Council on ending impunity in Darfur

New York, US (PANA) - Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Fatou Bensouda has stressed the need for the UN Security Council to take a decisive action against those responsible for war crimes in Sudan's Darfur region, saying the plight of the victims has
gone from bad to worse.

“We have done our part and it is up to this Council to live up to the legitimate expectations
of Darfur’s victims, namely that individuals alleged to be responsible for their daily sufferings
are brought to justice,” Ms. Bensouda told the 15-member body at a briefing at the UN
headquarters in New York Wednesday.

“These individuals are few among a population of millions who continue to endure untold daily suffering," she said, imploring Council members “to act with courage and conviction by adopting appropriate measures within its mandate to ensure that Sudan fugitives are brought to justice sooner rather than later".

Ms. Bensouda said she was deeply concerned by the worsening situation in the region,
as 300,000 people have been displaced in the first five months of this year alone, which
exceeds the amount of displaced individuals in the last two years.

"There have also been reports that indictees Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman, also known
as Ali Kushayb, Ahmad Harun and Abdel Raheem Hussein - all Sudanese government officials -
have been involved in crimes against civilians this year.

"Mr. Kushayb also lead an attack on the town of Aby Jeradil in April, which left more than 100 civilians dead and displaced 30,000 people into Chad," the ICC prosecutor said.

“Observers have suggested that the Government of the Sudan wanted to appease members of the Misseriya and Ta'isha tribes who participated in the Janjaweed/militia by helping them to seize the land of Salamat, considered by some to be Chadian nationals and forcibly displacing them in the process," she said.

The prosecutors said these alleged crimes were of concern to the international community and
require urgent and concerted action, adding: ''Again, this is a question of potential individual criminal responsibility, not of group or organisational responsibility.

“Regrettably, each briefing has been followed by inaction and paralysis within the Security
Council, while the plight of victims of crimes committed in Darfur has gone from bad to

She further said the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war, hindering humanitarian
access, and ongoing impunity have continued, causing despair among the population.

Ms. Bensouda said that working with regional actors such as the League of Arab States and the African Union (AU) could help address this challenge, and called on the AU to implement the
recommendations of its High-Level Panel on Darfur.

Although Sudan is not a State Party to the Rome Statute which established the ICC, it is obliged to cooperate with and provide any necessary assistance to the Court and the Prosecutor in accordance with a UN Security Council resolution adopted in 2005.

PANA recalled that in 2005, the UN Security Council asked the Hague-based Court to
investigate war crimes in Darfur after a UN inquiry found serious violations of international
human rights law.

In March 2009, ICC judges issued arrest warrants against, among other top officials,
Sudanese President, Omar Al-Bashir, for genocide, crimes against humanity and war
crimes committed in Darfur.

Al-Bashir, along with the other ICC indictees in the country, are yet to be arrested.
-0- PANA AA/SEG 6June2013

06 june 2013 07:21:18

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