Darfur Women Action Group (DWAG) welcomed Prosecutor Khan’s decision to investigate the past and current crimes and we are pleased to express our full support of the ICC Prosecutor’s July 13th brief on Sudan. The recent atrocities in Darfur have prompted Prosecutor Khan to make the bold decision of extending the investigations in Sudan to include crimes in Darfur from the current outbreak of conflict. Prior to this briefing DWAG and 40 other Sudan and Darfuri civil society organizations sent letters to the UNSC, the ICC, and state parties to the ICC demanding that recent crimes in Darfur be included in the investigation. We are grateful to see that our voice has been heard. We and millions of Sudanese wholeheartedly support the steps being taken by the ICC and we will continue to fight for accountability and international intervention in Sudan to save lives and pave the way for justice and peace to take its course.
“That such violence is being perpetrated against the people of Darfur – who have already experienced genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes that prompted the ICC’s investigation in the first place – is particularly devastating” said Chief Prosecutor Khan and concluded by stating: “we concur with your conclusion that this violence is a product of years of impunity: this includes a failure to hold those responsible for these most egregious crimes accountable and the failure to provide justice to the people of Darfur.”
We commend and echo Prosecutor Khan’s strong message calling on the council members to uphold their moral and legal obligation to the people of Darfur. The Prosecutor made it clear that in order for history in Sudan to not tragically repeat itself the ICC must remain committed to investigating and prosecuting the crimes in Sudan.
For years, we have warned the international community of the dangers of enabling the perpetrators of genocide to dominate power in Sudan. We believe if we allow impunity for crimes committed in Darfur to go unpunished, then the rest of Sudan will face similar crimes and engulf in deviation and injustices that we have seen recently in Khartoum and other areas.
The current crisis in Sudan is evidence of the cost of immunity that al-Bashir and others wanted by the ICC have enjoyed while defying justice and undermining the international law and international institutions, including the UNSC.
It’s worth noting that those currently perpetrating crimes are the same leaders who have carried out the longstanding genocide in Darfur. The investigation of crimes in Darfur represents a unique opportunity for justice in Sudan that all Sudanese must support and fight for. If we pursue justice in Darfur, we will certainly be able to establish a foundation that will hold accountable all criminals committing crimes against Sudan. Justice is not only imperative to punish perpetrators but it’s equally important to replace the culture of force in Sudan by the Rule of law that the people of Sudan so desperately need today. The road to justice may be a long way to travel, however we must pursue justice if we want peace in Sudan. Experience showed that Sudan will never be transformed without proper justice for the victims and accountability for the most heinous crimes.
DWAG stresses the call for placing Darfur under international trusteeship to ensure strong international intervention to protect civilians and create an enabling environment for humanitarian actors to operate and save lives. This step will create the path for pursuing accountability, then there can be peace and democratic transformation of Sudan. Therefore we call on the international and regional actors to prioritize quick and effective life saving intervention.
We call on the United Nations Security Council members and the member States of the Rome Statute to live up to their legal obligation and support the ICC to finally deliver justice to the Darfur victims of serious international crimes committed in Sudan.
We call on the African Union states to support ICC and prioritize cooperation to deliver Justice to ensure that the crimes in Sudan will not spill over across the region and the continent at large.
The United States is not state party to the ICC; However, as a leading member of the Security Council, the US is obligated to support and enforce all security council resolution, including 1593, which referred the cause of Darfur to the ICC.
We further call on our supporters to speak up and hold their leaders accountable and tell them, including the Biden administration, that in the face of genocide they must not look the other way.
The decision of the ICC to extend its investigation to the current crimes is living proof that our fight is paying off. When we speak, they listen and act.
With our collective efforts we can end the killing, pursue justice, bring peace, and enable transformation of Sudan.
Niemat Ahmadi, and DWAG team
November 21 - 2023
November 21 - 2023+ Read More