February 28, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The rebel Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-MM) led by Minni Minnawi on Tuesday has called for arresting Sudanese officials indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for committing war crimes in Darfur region.
- SLM-MM leader Minni Minnawi (AP Photo)
The ICC issued two arrest warrants against President Omer al-Bashir in 2009 and 2010 for alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed in Darfur.
Also, ICC judges issued arrest warrants in 2008 for militia commander Ali Mohamed Ali Abdel-Rahman, also known as Ali Kushayb and Ahmed Haroun, governor of North Kordofan state on 51 counts of alleged crimes against humanity and war crimes. But Khartoum has so far refused to hand them over.
In a statement on the 8th anniversary of the ICC’s issuance of the arrest warrants on Tuesday, SLM-MM leader Minni Minnawi said the international community should carry out its obligations and cooperate to arrest the war criminals and hand them over to the ICC.
He proposed that the 4th of March must be designated as a national day for Darfur, war areas and the whole country by the opposition forces.
Minnawi described the issuance of an arrest warrant against al-Bashir on March 4th, 2009 as “serious step to provide redress for victims of the crime of the century committed by al-Bashir’s government against civilians in Darfur”.
The rebel leader urged the countries to cooperate to arrest war criminals and hand them over to the ICC especially “in light of the continued impunity policy pursued by the government of Sudan which led to the worsening of the security situation and instability in Darfur and the region”.
He praised adherence of the United States and some European countries including the United Kingdom to the ICC, commending African nations that have reversed their request to withdraw from the court such as Gambia.
Minnawi also lauded decision by a South African judge to block the country’s planned withdrawal from the ICC for its unconstitutionality.
Late last year, South Africa, Burundi and the Gambia announced plans to leave the court, leading to concerns that other states would follow.
For her part, SLM-MM assistant chief for woman and child affairs Fathiya Kaka issued a statement on the same occasion, saying woman in Darfur bear a heavy burden during the war especially with regard to rape incidents.
She called on the regional and international community to assist in the arrest of al-Bashir and his gang and bring them to justice immediately, urging the Sudanese to show the required “national solidarity” with Darfur victims of war.
Kaka further hailed woman struggle in IDP’s and refugee camps in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile and all over the Sudan.
UN agencies estimate that over 300,000 people were killed in Darfur conflict since 2003, and over 2.5 million were displaced.