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Eastern Sudan group urges ICC to investigate “Port Sudan Massacre”

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UPFLJ's leader Zainab Kabashi

January 29, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The United People’s Front for Liberation and Justice (UPFLJ), a group from eastern Sudan, has called on the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the killing incident known as “Port Sudan Massacre”.

Over 20 people were killed in Port Sudan, capital of the Red Sea state on 29 January 2005 when thousands of protesters called for the end of an armed conflict in the impoverished province and to provide job opportunities.

A delegation from the UPFLJ including its chairwoman Zaineb Kabashi and her deputy Osama Saeed has met with a number of officials from the office of the ICC chief prosecutor in the Hague.

In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Sunday, UPFLJ said the meeting discussed the ICC role to prosecute Sudanese officials wanted by the tribunal and on top of them President Omer al-Bashir.

The ICC has issued two arrest warrants against President al-Bashir in 2009 and 2010 for alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed in Darfur.

According to the statement, the delegation presented an integrated vision that the ICC has jurisdiction to prosecute the “Port Sudan Massacre”, saying “the special force which had committed the massacre in cold blood was brought to disperse peaceful protests”.

The statement pointed that the ICC has jurisdiction individuals for crimes against humanity, saying the tribunal shall have the jurisdiction “when national courts are unable or unwilling to investigate the defendants”.

It pointed that the Sudanese courts are unwilling to institute the proceedings in relation to “Port Sudan Massacre”, accusing the Sudanese regime and security services of obstructing any moves to file a lawsuit in this regard.

“Accordingly, the delegation requested [the ICC] to file a lawsuit against the perpetrators of the massacre,” added the statement.

It further said the two sides agreed to hold a second meeting to allow the UPFLJ to hand over a complete dossier to the ICC to file the lawsuit.

The UPFLJ is a splinter faction of the Eastern Front that signed a peace agreement with the Sudanese government in October 2006.

The group says Khartoum government didn’t implement the Eritrean government brokered agreement which provides to establish a $600 million development fund to be paid over four years.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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