By Haley Aubuchon
Justice cannot be ignored
Darfur Women Action Group strongly supports the recent briefing by the ICC prosecutor given to the UN Security Council on June 5. The briefing calls on the international community, particularly the member states of the UN Security Council and the states parties to the ICC to fulfill their commitment, uphold to their legal obligation and provide all the necessary support needed to implement the pending arrest warrants against Albashir of Sudan, Abdelrahim Hussien, Ahmed Haroun and the notorious Janjaweed leader Ali Kushy.
On Wednesday, June 5, 2013 The UN Security Council was briefed by International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on the current situation in Darfur. The ICC Prosecutor briefs the Security Council twice a year on the current situation as well as the ICC’s progress and point of view. This is the seventeenth briefing that has been given on Darfur.
In her presentation, the Prosecutor addressed a number of concerns relating to Darfur and urged the Security Council to act. She stated that the situation continues to intensify and worsen, causing the daily suffering of millions. Bensouda cautioned that unmonitored business relations with Sudan can contribute financially to violence against civilians.
The prosecutor described the April 8 attack on the town of Um Dukhun. Several witness spotted Ali Muhammad Ali Abdel-Rahman, who is wanted by the ICC for several counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, participating in the attack. She referenced the number of visits to Chad made by Sudanese president Omar al Bashir. As a signatory to the Rome statute, Chad is obligated to not only refuse to welcome al Bashir into the country, but to arrest him should he enter it.
Additionally, Bensouda pointed out the UN’s own visit to Khartoum, the capitol of Sudan, that included meetings with al Bashir. She encouraged the UN to analyze critically whether such contact was truly necessary and useful given his lack of cooperation with the ICC. The Prosecutor explained that such contact would embolden criminals. She stressed the need for strengthening relations between the ICC and the Security Council.
“We have done our part and it is up to this Council to live up to the legitimate expectations of Darfur’s victims, namely that individuals alleged to be responsible for their daily sufferings are brought to justice,” the Prosecutor stated.
For this reason DWAG call on the members of the UNSC to support the prosecutor’s report and to tell the Sudanese government that impunity for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, particularly those perpetrated against women, are not acceptable. We call on our supporters to add their voice to our voice and press world leaders to bring long awaited justice for victims in Darfur.