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Open Letter to the UN Security Council: Five years of impunity in Darfur must end

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International Justice Project

March 4, 2014

Open Letter to the UN Security Council: Five Years of Impunity in Darfur Must End

On Fifth Anniversary of ICC Arrest Warrant for Omar Al-Bashir, Civil Society Calls on UN Security Council and ICC Member States to End Impunity for Genocide in Darfur

The BashirWatch Coalition and over 30 international human rights organizations sent a letter this morning to the United Nations Security Council and States Parties of the Rome Statute, calling for these states to fulfill the legal and moral obligations to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity in Darfur.

[Letter and powerful web page may be accessed at:

http://bashirwatch.org/five-years-impunity-man-behind-darfur-genocide-remains-free/.

Today, March 4, 2014, marks the five-year anniversary of the first ICC arrest warrant for President Bashir. Now in its eleventh year, Darfur is the longest-running genocide in history, yet Bashir has evaded justice for half a decade while actively perpetrating atrocities in Darfur and throughout Sudan. Since 2003, more than 300,000 people have been reported killed, thousands of villages have been deliberately destroyed, and at least 3 million civilians have been forcibly displaced in Darfur alone. Millions more are targeted by President Bashir’s regime in South Kordofan, Blue Nile, Abyei, and throughout the country.

For five years, President Bashir has lived, traveled, and ruled with impunity for the most serious international crimes. In the letter, the 28 civil society organizations demand that States Parties to the Rome Statute fulfil their legal obligations to arrest Bashir if he enters onto their territory. “Other UN member states should ensure they are on the right side of history by arresting Bashir and transferring him to The Hague for trial,” the letter states.

The letter also encourages all UN members to consider withholding military or economic aid from countries that let Bashir enter into their territory without executing the arrest warrants. It also recommends that the UN seriously consider adopting policies to enforce ICC arrest warrants in all UN-administered areas.

The failure to hold Bashir accountable “not only has devastating effects inside Sudan, but it also sends the wrong message to leaders like Syrian President Assad and others perpetrating extreme violence throughout the world.”

The letter has been faxed to the UN Permanent Mission offices of the 15 members of the UN Security Council and the 122 member states of the Rome Statute. The full text of the letter is available here.

Signatories include:

1. Arry Organization for Human Rights and Development
2. Baroness Caroline Cox, House of Lords
3. Baysah Global Consulting, LLC
4. Citizens Global Solution
5. Collectif Urgence Darfour
6. Darfur Interfaith Network
7. Darfur People Association of New York
8. Darfur and Beyond
9. Darfur Association of Canada
10. Darfur Diaspora Association
11. Darfur Solidarity
12. Darfur Union, UK and Ireland
13. Enough Project
14. Fur Cultural Revival
15. Give Back Project
16. Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust UK
17. Humanity United
18. International Criminal Court Student Network
19. International Justice Project
20. Italians for Darfur
21. Joining Our Voices
22. Never Again Coalition
23. New York Coalition for Sudan
24. Nuba Mountains Welfare Assocation
25. Physicians for Human Rights
26. Sudan Unlimited
27. Tunjar Community Organisation UK
28. United People’s Front for the Liberation and Justice, Beja Congress Corrective UK
29. United to End Genocide
30. Voice of Darfur Women
31. Voice of Nyala
32. Waging Peace

For more information, contact:

Niemat Ahmadi, United to End Genocide: (804) 439-2022 | nahmadi@endgenocide.org

Katie Flannery, International Justice Project: (973) 735-2696 | kflannery@internationaljusticeproject.com

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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