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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Christmas Gains Popularity in Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil Wari
X
Adam Bailes
December 22, 2014 3:45 PM
In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.

All About America

AppleAndroid