News / Africa

ICC Prosecutor Urges Support in Arresting Darfur Suspects

Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Feb. 10, 2014
Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Feb. 10, 2014
Margaret Besheer
The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court is asking the U.N. Security Council to take action to help see that individuals indicted in war crimes cases in Sudan’s Darfur region are delivered to The Hague for prosecution. 

Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda told the 15-nation council that in the almost 10 years since the council first referred the situation in Darfur to the international court, grave crimes still continue unabated because perpetrators think they are safe from arrest and prosecution.

“What is needed is a dramatic shift in this council’s approach to arresting Darfur suspects,” she said.

The court has issued warrants for four individuals - Ahmad Harun, Ali Kushayb, Abdelraheem Hussein and Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.  Bashir faces the gravest charges - war crimes, crimes against humanity and orchestrating genocide in Darfur.

All four, however, have eluded arrest, as the court has no way to enforce the warrants unless the government surrenders them or the indictees travel outside Sudan -- preferably to countries that are signatories to the ICC’s treaty, known as the Rome Statute.

In a report, prosecutor Bensouda noted that in recent months President Bashir has traveled several times - to South Sudan, Ethiopia, DRC and Chad. Bensouda also noted that in Ethiopia, U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson held a lengthy meeting with President Bashir and she discouraged such meetings.

The United Nations said it only had contacts with ICC indictees when it was absolutely necessary for carrying out its mandated work.  The U.N. has one of its largest peacekeeping missions in Darfur.

Bensouda also expressed concern over the recent surge in violence in Darfur that has led to the displacement of an additional 300,000 people this year and a growing humanitarian crisis.

“The deliberate obstruction of humanitarian aid must end.  Equally concerning is the ongoing pattern of aerial bombardments and armed attacks on the civilian populations by militia and Janjaweed, and in particular, the involvement of the newest iteration of the Janjaweed - the Rapid Support forces - led by Mohamed Hamdan,” she said.

The prosecutor’s report noted that the Security Council has adopted 55 resolutions on Sudan since 2004 and hardly any of them have been implemented.  Bensouda said she hoped the Security Council would view this pattern of non-cooperation by Khartoum as “a serious problem” and take the “necessary measures” to address it.

She said that without stronger action by the Security Council and states parties to the court, the situation was unlikely to improve and the alleged perpetrators of serious crimes against the civilian population would not be brought to justice.

Darfur rebels took up arms against the Sudanese government in 2003.  The United Nations says the conflict has killed some 300,000 people and displaced 3 million more.  Sudan puts the death toll much lower, at around 10,000.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More