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December 4, 09

NEWS / Darfur crimes continue and Sudan still not cooperating with ICC Prosecutor


4 December 2009 – Indiscriminate bombings, rape and other crimes are continuing in Darfur, the Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (ICC) said today, while noting that the Government of Sudan still refuses to cooperate with his office and its indicted President and other suspects remain at large. The ICC, which is based in The Hague, issued an arrest warrant for President Omar Al-Bashir in March for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Darfur, where estimated 300,000 people have died since 2003 due to fighting between Government forces and allied Arab militiamen, known as the Janjaweed. Soon after the warrant was issued the Government expelled 13 international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and revoked the permits of three local groups, dealing a blow to humanitarian efforts in the region. Briefing the Security Council on the latest developments, ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said that attacks against civilians in Darfur are continuing. In an incident on 25 November, militia reportedly attacked two villages in North Darfur, where they captured civilians, beat villagers and looted property. “President Al-Bashir, instead of stopping the crimes, is stopping the information about the crimes,” he told the Council. “The decisions to expel humanitarian workers and silence others by threats of expulsion, or the attempts at restricting the freedom of movement of UNAMID [joint UN-African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur] are part and parcel of this policy to reduce the monitoring capacity of the international community.” In his recent report on UNAMID, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highlighted the impediments put by the Sudanese Government on the movement of peacekeepers which continue to hamper their ability to stabilize the situation in Darfur. Mr. Moreno-Ocampo said that efforts in recent months have focused on encouraging Sudan to respect its responsibilities as a UN Member State and to put an end to crimes and arrest people indicted by the Court. He noted that Mr. Al-Bashir has been unable to travel to certain States where he may be arrested. “This process of marginalization of indicted criminals, if maintained steadfastly, is a way towards the ultimate implementation of the arrest warrants issued by the Court. “Respect for the Court decision to issue an arrest warrant against President Al-Bashir sends a clear message: President Al-Bashir will face justice. Any leader committing crimes will face justice. Power does not provide immunity,” he added. The Prosecutor also stressed that he needs the Security Council’s full support to ensure that the attention remains on the need to arrest the indicted suspects and to end crimes in Darfur.

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=33149&Cr=&Cr1=

 




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