Sudan may face more Darfur charges: ICC prosecutor

Last Updated: Friday, December 14, 2012 - 09:10

New York: The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said on Thursday that Sudan may face more charges for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Darfur.

Fatou Bensouda told the UN Security Council that crimes continue to be committed under Sudan`s "government-avowed goal of stopping the rebellion in Darfur”.

She said the incidents under investigation include bombings and bombardments, the blocking of distribution of humanitarian aid and "direct attacks on civilian populations”.

More than 300,000 people have been killed in the Darfur conflict since rebels took up arms against the central government nearly 10 years ago, accusing it of discrimination and neglect. Violence has tapered off, but clashes continue.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and several other Sudanese leaders already face arrest warrants from the court.

Al-Bashir, whose country is not a member of the court, has travelled extensively since he was indicted by the court in 2009 and again in 2010 for crimes including genocide and extermination in Darfur.

Security Council ambassadors urged renewed efforts to arrest al-Bashir and bring him to trial, along with several henchmen.

"The failure of the government of Sudan to implement the five arrest warrants seems symbolic of its ongoing commitment to a military solution in Darfur, which has translated into a strategy aimed at attacking civilian populations over the last 10 years, with tragic results," Bensouda told the council.

Sudan`s Ambassador Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman dismissed much of the violence in Bensouda`s report, attributing it to traditional tribal clashes, and said the court was pursuing a heavy-handed political persecution of Sudan.

Other Sudanese who face ICC arrest warrants include militia leader Ali Kushayb, Minister of State for Humanitarian Affairs Ahmed Harun and Interior Minister Abdel Raheem Muhammad Hussein.

"It should be clear to this council that the government of Sudan is neither prepared to hand over the suspects nor to prosecute them for their crimes," Bensouda said.

The International Criminal Court was founded in 2002 as the permanent successor to numerous war crimes tribunals set up over the past two decades.

PTI



First Published: Friday, December 14, 2012 - 09:10

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