December 12, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese government again dismissed the latest report of the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Fatou Bensouda before the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and reiterated its position of not dealing with the Hague-based court.
- Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Fatou Bensouda, addresses the United Nations Security Council December 11, 2013 (UN Photo)
Bensouda lambasted the UNSC on Wednesday for failing to effect and enforce its resolution 1593 taken in 2005 which referred the situation in Darfur to the ICC.
“The time has come for this Council and States Parties to seriously devise strategies for arresting those alleged to be responsible for these crimes,” she said in her semi-annual report to the UNSC.
The ICC has issued arrest warrants for the Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir, Defense minister Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein, North Kordofan governor Ahmed Haroun and militia leader Ali Kushayb.
Khartoum rejects jurisdiction of the ICC asserting it is not party to the Rome Statute which is the founding treaty of the court.
Bashir and Hussein have managed to travel relatively freely even to ICC members since the warrants which charges them with orchestrating war crimes in Sudan’s western region of Darfur.
The ICC judges’ notifications to the UNSC of non-compliance by state parties on the warrants received no action by the council which drew a strong rebuke by Bensouda.
“This Council’s silence even when notified of clear failures and/or violations by UN Member States of their obligations to comply with this Council’s resolutions only serves to add insult to the plight of Darfur’s victims,” she told the 15-member body.
“This is the only way to stop the seemingly endless suffering of the Darfur victims,” Bensouda said, calling it a “serious indictment on this Council and on States Parties” that those indicted are able to show “blatant disregard” for the UNSC by travelling without fearing arrest.
"Alleged perpetrators of serious crimes against the civilian population will continue to commit crimes unless they are brought to justice," she said. "It is now up to this council and to the states parties to heed the cries of the millions of victims of crimes which continue unabated in Darfur".
But Sudan’s UN ambassador Dafalla al-Haj Osman accused the ICC of playing a "proxy political foe" and said that the prosecution is getting info from unknown or biased sources.
He also rapped Bensouda’s remarks calling it "authoritative, as if giving instructions to the UNSC".
Osman noted the African position on the ICC as shown in last October’s summit adding that the continent has lost faith in the court.