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

Video On The Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime bombardment, VOA correspondent finds More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid