Darfur Women Action Group (DWAG) writes in support of the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor’s statement to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on the Situation in Darfur, pursuant to Resolution 1593 (2005). On 25 January 2023, Prosecutor Khan presented the ICC’s most recent report on the situation in Darfur before the UNSC, recognizing the outstanding courage of Sudanese survivors of genocidal violence in Darfur who came forward as witnesses, and has provided updates on progress being made in the Ali Kushayb trial. Indeed, we share the sincere hopes – and the grave concerns – of ICC Prosecutor Karim A. A. Khan KC.
Prosecutor Khan also expressed concerns about a serious lack of cooperation on the part of the Sudanese government and the need to take action if the government does not change its approach. At DWAG, we echo the concerns raised by the Prosecutor and wish to remind the UNSC of not only the lack of progress with regards to cooperation by the government of Sudan with the ICC, but also the ongoing and escalated violence against civilians that has been going on for two decades. The ruling junta continues to undermine the rule of law and perpetrate genocidal violence in Darfur because the global community has largely neglected its obligation to hold Sudan accountable, thus prolonging the suffering of men, women, and children in Darfur.
The chief prosecutor has shared updates on the trial of Ali Kushayb. Ali Kushayb is a former Janjaweed leader who is alleged to be responsible for leading the horrific operations of systematic persecution, murder, torture, and rape of innocent men, women, and children. He is currently accused of 31 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed between August 2003 and at least April 2004 in Darfur, and his trial began last year on April 5, 2022. In regard to the trial, Prosecutor Khan reported that over 50 survivors testified against Kushayb over the course of the trial so far and deeply praised ‘’the heroism, the perseverance, the dedication’’ the survivors exhibited, in spite of them enduring ‘’the most profound suffering’’.
In his statement, Prosecutor Khan reported on the progress of Ali Kushayb’s trial, which has been going on for the last 8 months, and has underscored that this trial has been the most efficient and fast-paced trial in the ICC’s history. The prosecution plans to close its case by the end of February. However, Prosecutor Khan also recognized that Sudan was not meeting the requirements of cooperation established under Chapter 7 of the Charter in Resolution 1593. According to him, the Sudanese government has failed to maintain its commitments, culminating in a severe lack of access to documentation and witnesses. In addition, Khan underscored the fact that the government has increasingly performed worse in these regards.
Additionally, Former President Omar al-Bashir still remains at large and orchestrated the genocide under his regime. Justice is not just convicting Ali Kushayb, but convicting all perpetrators responsible for the mass atrocities committed in Darfur for the past 20 years. We urge the international community to put more pressure on Sudan to surrender Omar al-Bashir and the others who currently have pending arrest warrants issued by the ICC for perpetrating heinous crimes in Darfur. We also urge the ICC to investigate the crimes that took place past 2003-2008, as well as the genocidal violence that is still going on in Darfur. Impunity for the world’s most serious crimes – genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity must never be an option!
In the meantime, we ask the public to stand in solidarity with the people of Darfur and continue to support not only the Ali Kushayb trial, but to demand accountability for others indicted for committing or participating in atrocities and crimes. We earnestly ask the public, our supporters, and partners to use their voices and platforms to encourage people in their network to speak up and stand for justice in Darfur and Sudan more broadly. Equally, we urge the media to ensure the injustices and the attempts to rectify them receive coverage and focus so that audiences are aware of the situation and so that the ongoing genocide does not go neglected or unpunished.
Together, through our efforts, we can stop and prevent further genocide in Darfur. We call on you once again to stand with us so we can collectively empower survivors and affected communities, as well as help them seek justice and restore their livelihoods.
Niemat Ahmadi, DWAG Founder and President
November 21 - 2023
November 21 - 2023+ Read More