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ICC prosecutor vows to continue efforts to arrest the Sudanese president

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June 30, 2015 (KHARTOUM) - The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Fatou Bensouda has pledged to continue her efforts to arrest the Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir who is wanted by the court since 2009.

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Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), briefs the Security Council at a meeting on the situation in Darfur (UN Photo)

She called in her statement to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on the situation in Darfur on Monday evening for “devising concrete and effective strategies for the arrest of accused persons wanted by the court, and to give the ICC the full support it requires and is entitled to, in order to implement the Rome Statute as intended”.

The ICC prosecutor urged the States Parties to plan for the arrest of each individual wanted by the court in a targeted and efficient manner, saying “the longer such persons remain at large, the greater the risk that further atrocities will be committed, contributing to instability and insecurity”.

She added that her office’s determination to bring independent and impartial justice to the people of Sudan remains unshaken.

“Bashir’s recent rapid departure from South Africa proves that the warrants of arrest against him are as valid as they were when issued; that they remain in full force and effect, and that my Office is committed to ensure they are executed”, she added

On 14 June, Bashir participated in the 25th African Union summit in Johannesburg defying two ICC arrest warrants against him for war crimes and genocide in Darfur region in March 2009 and July 2010.

However, he left South Africa few hours before judges at the High Court handed down a decision ordering his arrest.

A high court in Pretoria slammed the South African government for failing to arrest Bashir and defying an order barring his departure until his case is decided.

Bashir doesn’t recognize the ICC and sees it as a tool used by colonial powers against Sudan and the African nations.

The prosecutor pointed out that the deteriorating security situation in Darfur continues to be a matter of great concern for her office, for the broader international community and for this UNSC.
“Innocent civilians continue to bear the brunt of insecurity and instability, in particular as a result of what appears to be an on-going government campaign to target them.” she said

She said that the people alleged to be most responsible for the ongoing atrocities in Darfur, are the same people against whom warrants of arrest have already been issued, stressing that arresting them and bringing them to face justice is the only way to stop these crimes.

The Sudanese army and its allied militia conducted a brutal counter-insurgency campaign following the start of a rebellion in Darfur 2003.

UN agencies estimate as many as 300,000 people have been killed and almost 3 million were displaced.

(ST)

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