Darfur: International Criminal Court Prosecutions Welcomed, Those Responsible Warned
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The International Crisis Group welcomes today’s application by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to start proceedings against the Sudanese State Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Ahmad Muhammad Harun, and the militia/Janjaweed commander, Ali Kushayb, for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in West Darfur in 2003-2004. It is essential that those responsible for the atrocities in Darfur be held accountable.
“It is particularly important that the Prosecutor is proceeding against a senior minister in the Khartoum government”, says Nick Grono, Vice-President (Advocacy and Operations) of Crisis Group. “This is the first ICC prosecution of a government official, and it is a clear indication that the Government of Sudan – at senior levels – has played the central role in planning and carrying out the atrocities in Darfur”.
If and when arrest warrants are issued by the court, the Government of Sudan must comply and engage in the legal process. It also must ensure protection of victims and potential witnesses.
The international community must continue to provide strong support for the ICC. In particular, it must ensure that the Government of Sudan complies with the legal process and provides protection to victims and witnesses.
“The clear message from these prosecutions is that the world is watching, and the high and mighty are not immune”, said Crisis Group President Gareth Evans. “Those who commit atrocities in Darfur or anywhere else are on notice that they will be held accountable”.
To find out more, visit our “Crisis in Darfur” page, which has links to Crisis Group’s reports and opinion pieces on the conflict, details of our advocacy efforts to date, links to other resources, and information on what you can do to support Crisis Group’s efforts.