INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT PROSECUTOR TELLS SECURITY COUNCIL ENTIRE DARFUR REGION ‘CRIME SCENE’, SUDAN NOT COOPERATING ON ARREST OF TWO INDICTEES

5 June 2008
SC/9349

INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT PROSECUTOR TELLS SECURITY COUNCIL ENTIRE DARFUR REGION ‘CRIME SCENE’, SUDAN NOT COOPERATING ON ARREST OF TWO INDICTEES

5 June 2008
Security Council
SC/9349
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

5905th Meeting (AM)

INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT PROSECUTOR TELLS SECURITY COUNCIL ENTIRE DARFUR

REGION ‘CRIME SCENE’, SUDAN NOT COOPERATING ON ARREST OF TWO INDICTEES

Luis Moreno-Ocampo Says Evidence Shows Organized Campaign to Attack Civilians;

Asks for Presidential Statement Calling for Halt to Crimes, Arrest of Suspects

“The entire Darfur region is a crime scene,” the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court told the Security Council this morning, adding that “Impunity reigns.”

Introducing his seventh report since the Council, through adoption of resolution 1593 (2005), had referred Darfur to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, Luis Moreno-Ocampo said he had collected compelling evidence that would identify those most responsible for crimes against civilians in Darfur and that he had found no trace of Sudanese judicial proceedings regarding the matter during the last three years. 

The judges of the International Criminal Court had issued arrest warrants against Ahmad Harun, former Minister of State for the Interior, and Ali Kushayb, a Janjaweed militia leader, for crimes against humanity and war crimes.  “I report today that the Government of the Sudan is not cooperating with the Court.”  The Council must make publicly clear that the two fugitive indictees and those who protect them would not benefit from any lenience, or any support from the international community.

“In Darfur, the evidence shows an organized campaign by Sudanese officials to attack civilians, in particular the Fur, Massalit and Zaghawa, with the objective to physically and mentally destroy entire communities,” he said.  Such attacks were calculated to drive entire groups to inhospitable areas, where they died immediately, or into camps, where they died slowly.  In the camps, where the Janjaweed militia had been integrated into the Sudanese security apparatus, rape was systematic and destitution was organized.  Usurpation of land was also systematic. 

He said the evidence showed that “the commission of crimes on such a scale, over a period of five years, and throughout Darfur, has required the sustained mobilization of the entire State apparatus.”  The evidence further revealed coordination of the military, security and intelligence services, integration of the Janjaweed militia, participation of all ministries, contribution of the diplomatic and public information bureaucracies, and control of the judiciary.  It took planning and organization, commanders and many executioners.  “But, mostly, it requires that the rest of the world look away and do nothing.”

He asked the Council to send a strong message to the Government of the Sudan and issue a presidential statement, requesting that they stop the crimes and arrest Harun and Kushayab.  Such a statement should also request all parties to assist the Court and comply with resolution 1593 (2005).  “Silence has never helped or protected victims,” he concluded.  “It only helps criminals.”

Bruno Stagno Ugarte, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Worship of Costa Rica, reminded the Council that “just steps away”, the Assembly of States Parties of the International Criminal Court had expressed a firm commitment to eradicating impunity for the most atrocious crimes “perpetrated by evil”.  But, “the actions of the Security Council, and therefore the Member States gathered around this table that give life to it, have clearly not been up to par with what is required as regards the situation in Darfur.”  The Council must cease delaying and subordinating the imperatives of justice to political calculus. 

“The Government of the Sudan is toying with us, toying with human dignity, toying with the authority of this Council,” he added.  Referring to the “ghosts of the past”, the Holocaust, Srebrenica and Rwanda, he said, “Enough appeasement, the time has passed to continue accommodating evil.”

Other speakers expressed strong support for the International Criminal Court and its Office of the Prosecutor, as well as for the presidential statement the delegation of Costa Rica was preparing.  Italy’s representative said the credibility, responsibility and the accountability of the Organization and its Member States were at stake.  He wondered if Member States were modifying the Charter’s Article 58 [that stipulated States’ obligation to adhere to Council resolutions] by “acquiescence”. 

Speakers also deplored the lack of cooperation with the International Criminal Court on the part of the Government of the Sudan, an obligation under resolution 1593 (2005), and noted that the Council mission currently in Africa had indicated that the Sudan’s Government would continue to defy that resolution and, thereby, the Council’s authority.

The representative of Libya said that the Office of the Prosecutor should present a sobering prosecution, which did not hasten to condemn prior to trial and closely scrutinized diverse pieces of evidence.  The report made legal and political accusations against the highest organs of the State, in many cases on the basis of media and political reports, while nothing was being said about the practices of the rebel movements.  The matter had been moulded as if it related to the conduct of a State solely obsessed with destroying the basis of its existence, namely its people and the tribal and social fabric.  Justice for the Sudanese people could only be achieved through a political process that respected the sovereignty of Member States, and addressed the root causes of the conflict. 

The representatives of Belgium, Croatia, Panama, Indonesia, Burkina Faso, South Africa, China, Russian Federation, France, Viet Nam, United Kingdom and the United States also spoke.

The meeting, which started at 10:10 a.m., adjourned at 12:10 p.m.

Background

Under its agenda item:  “Reports of the Secretary-General on the Sudan”, the Security Council this morning is expected to hear a briefing by Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, on his seventh report regarding his investigation in the situation in Darfur, pursuant to Council resolution 1593 (2005).  The report was issued at the outset of the meeting and has, as of yet, no document number.

Briefing by Prosecutor

LUIS MORENO-OCAMPO, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, said that, because the Assembly of States Parties to the Court was in session in New York and Security Council members were in Africa, today was a historic opportunity to confirm the message that there could be no impunity for perpetrators of massive atrocities in Darfur and to move from principles to action.  Massive crimes were still being committed in Darfur.  Girls were still being raped.  Children died as their schools were bombed.  “The entire Darfur region is a crime scene,” he said.  “Impunity reigns.”

He said his Office had received a mandate for the Council and that mandate was justice.  In fulfilling his mandate, he had collected compelling evidence that would identify those most responsible for crimes against civilians in Darfur, in particular the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa.  He would present a second case to the judges in July.  Although his Office could not intervene when national authorities were conducting national proceedings and the Sudan had claimed that it would investigate and prosecute perpetrators, the Office had found no trace of Sudanese proceedings during the last three years.

In April 2007, he said the judges of the Court had issued arrest warrants against Ahmad Harun, former Minister of State for the Interior, and Ali Kushayb, a Janjaweed militia leader, for crimes against humanity and war crimes.  That had been an opportunity for the Sudan to break the criminal system unveiled by the Court, to surrender the indictees, to start proceedings against lesser perpetrators -- but that opportunity had been lost.  “I report today that the Government of the Sudan is not cooperating with the Court.  There has been no improvement since December.”  The Government of the Sudan did not recognize the jurisdiction of the Court, a jurisdiction granted by the Council.

“Impunity is not an abstract notion,” he said.  Mr. Harun was attacking the victims in the camps and, as Minister of State for Humanitarian Affairs, he was hindering humanitarian aid.  As a member of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) oversight committee, he was affecting the deployment and safety of peacekeepers.  As a member of the NCP-SPLM Committee, he had been sent to Abyei to manage the conflict.  Abyei had been burned down and 50,000 citizens had been displaced.  The Government accepted UNAMID peacekeepers and aid workers in Darfur, and the same Government was promoting Mr. Harun.  “The Sudanese Government tolerates the firefighters and promotes the arsonists at the same time.” 

The Council had the power to ensure the cooperation of the Sudan and the issue of arrests had to be central in any conversation with it, he added.  The Council must make publicly clear that the two fugitive indictees and those who protect them would not benefit from any lenience, any support from the international community.

He said that, in his second investigation, evidence had been collected that showed a pattern of attacks by Sudanese officials against civilians, in particular against those 2.5 million people forcibly displaced into camps.  His third investigation focused on the Haskanita attack, attributed to rebels.  “In Darfur, the evidence shows an organized campaign by Sudanese officials to attack civilians, in particular the Fur, Massalit and Zaghawa, with the objective to physically and mentally destroy entire communities.”  The first phase of attacks in 2003-2004 had affected four million people.  Since 2005, villages were still being attacked.  The difference between those two phases was simple:  there were fewer villages left to burn and loot, less civilians to terrorize and kill. 

The tactics remained the same, he said.  The Sudanese army, in coordination with the air force and Janjaweed militia, attacked civilians.  In 2008 alone, they had displaced more than 100,000 civilians.  Such attacks were calculated to drive entire groups to inhospitable areas, where they died immediately, or into camps, where they died slowly.  Crimes and insecurity were being organized in the camps, where the Janjaweed militia were integrated into the Sudanese security apparatus.  Rapes of women were systematic.  Destitution was organized, as malnutrition rates exceeded emergency threshold, especially for children under five.  Community leaders and teachers were the first to be targeted during attacks.  Usurpation of land was systematic.  The census crystallized the situation, potentially creating a new demography.  As displaced persons resisted the census, violence had been used in Kalma, Karandj and Abozr camps to force the population to accept the census.  “Sudanese officers protect the criminals and not the victims,” he said.

“We’ve seen it before,” he added:  “The Nazi regime invoked its national sovereignty to attack its own population, and then crossed borders to attack people in other countries.”  In his own country, Argentina, the military junta had a well-documented strategy to disguise the criminal system of disappearances.  It denied the crimes, minimized the extent of its actions and denied the involvement of the Government in the crimes.  Then, finally, they proposed that the crimes be forgotten, so the country could focus on political solutions.

“There is no end to the imagination employed in such cover-up,” he said, noting that, in his written reports to the Council, he had provided statements of Sudanese officials to the effect that the situation was stable, that the provision of aid and the deployment of peacekeepers was proceeding smoothly, that only 10,000 had died since the beginning of the conflict, that all attacks originated in rebel acts or mistakes by UNAMID, and that political negotiations would solve all problems.

“The evidence shows a different picture,” he said.  “The evidence shows that the commission of such crimes on such a scale, over a period of five years, and throughout Darfur, has required the sustained mobilization of the entire State apparatus.”  The evidence further revealed coordination of the military, security and intelligence services, the integration of the Janjaweed militia, the participation of all ministries, the contribution of the diplomatic and public information bureaucracies, and control of the judiciary.

Turning to the specifics of his investigation into the crimes committed against peacekeepers and aid workers -– those who had come to the country to help Darfuris –- he said that the list was long.  On 29 May in Al Fashir, the memorial for the 61 African Union peacekeepers who had lost their lives was unveiled.  “My Office is determined to bring those responsible to justice,” he said, adding that currently there was not enough evidence to go to the judges.  But, the Court did have information that two rebel splinter factions had committed the October 2007 killing of 10 African peacekeepers in Haskanita.  That required corroboration, and requests for additional information had been sent to the African Union and the United Nations, as well as to individual States and others.  He urged all actors to respond as soon as possible.

He went on to say that the 23 May attack on Nigerian peacekeepers and the killing of a Ugandan peacekeeper made it all the more urgent to ensure accountability.  Increased attacks targeting relief workers and peacekeepers could lead the Court to extend the scope of its investigation.  He added that he was also concerned about allegations of recruitment of child soldiers, which could engulf entire generations in conflict.  On next judicial steps, he said that his Office would present to the judges next month its evidence on those most responsible for the crimes described.  It would be a public application and the decision would rest with the judges.  In previous cases, judges had taken between one and three months to decide on the merits of evidence, he added.

On international cooperation, he thanked all those who had responded to requests for information, including on tracing the indictees, and all those who had publicly or in bilateral meetings with the Sudanese explained the importance of enforcing the outstanding warrants.  “Those States have helped the victims, the Court and the Sudan,” he said, adding that he had also been grateful for the cooperation of the African Union Commission Chairmanship.  He also noted the Secretary-General’s efforts to address the matter of the outstanding warrants with President Bashir.  The support of the European Union and European parliamentarians had also been strong, and top Arab League officials were also playing a key role.

Finally, he said that a rebellion was going on in Darfur.  Under international law, a Government had the right and the responsibility to maintain control of its territory.  There was no doubt about that.  “But there is no military justification for bombing schools, no legal excuse for raping women.  Those crimes have been carefully prepared and efficiently implemented,” he said, adding that they were not mistakes.  They were not inter-tribal clashes.  They were not cases of collateral damage.  “Those are simply criminal acts against civilians -– unarmed civilians,” he said.

Citizens in the Sudan were being deliberately attacked by Sudanese officials, he went on to say, recalling for the Council the very words of war crimes indictee Harun:  “The people of Darfur are the enemy.”  Their own State was attacking them and, if the international community did not protect them, the people of Darfur would be eliminated.  It took a lot to commit massive crimes, he said.  It took planning and organization, commanders and many executioners.  “But mostly, it requires that the rest of the world look away and do nothing.”

When the Council had requested his Office to intervene in Darfur, it had done so in a decisive way, thinking of Darfuris, but with an eye towards Rwanda and Srebrenica.  At the Council’s request, he was preparing to present new evidence exposing the facts and identifying those most responsible.  Based on those facts, he asked the Council to send a strong message to the Government of the Sudan and issue a presidential statement, requesting that they stop the crimes and arrest Harun and Kushayab.  Such a statement should also request all parties to assist the Court and comply with resolution 1593 (2005).  “Silence has never helped or protected victims,” he concluded.  “It only helps criminals.”

Statements

BRUNO STAGNO UGARTE, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Worship of Costa Rica, said that, just steps away, the Assembly of States Parties of the International Criminal Court were expressing a firm commitment to eradicating impunity for the most atrocious crimes perpetrated by evil.  The Court Prosecutor had submitted seven reports enumerating the atrocities that had occurred and were occurring in Darfur.  Today, the Prosecutor had clearly laid down the facts.  “This is not an incidental by-product of war, it is a calculated crime.”

He said “the actions of the Security Council, and therefore the Member States gathered around this table that give life to it, have clearly not been up to par with what is required as regards the situation in Darfur.”  The Council must be part of a solution that adequately addressed both the imperatives of peace and justice and must cease delaying and subordinating the imperatives of justice to political calculus.  “The Government of the Sudan is toying with us, toying with human dignity, toying with the authority of this Council.”  The appointment of Ahmad Harun as Minister of State for Humanitarian Affairs, among other responsibilities, was concrete evidence of the cynicism of the authorities in Khartoum.

“The facts speak for themselves,” he said.  “We cannot argue ignorance.”  If the Council did not make its best effort to enforce the cooperation of the Sudan’s Government with the International Criminal Court, in a not so distant future, “we will once again be invoking our promise of ‘never again’.  That same promise that, as the civilized world, we made following the Holocaust […].”  Although it might be uncomfortable to “raise the failures and ghosts of the past”, he said, at times it was necessary to remember them in order to avoid the same mistakes.  In that regard, he referred to the lessons of Srebrenica and Rwanda.  “The ghosts of Srebrenica and Rwanda should awaken us to the fact that, in the Sudan, there are some that still believe that the graves in Darfur are not yet sufficiently full.”

“Enough appeasement, the time has passed to continue accommodating evil,” he said.  “ Costa Rica trusts in the International Criminal Court, and would also like to trust in the capacity of the Security Council to address this complex situation.”  But, that would depend on the Member States of the Council.  It would depend on whether or not the Council mustered the decency of recognizing the facts, of enforcing full compliance with resolution 1593 (2005) and the subsequent resolutions, and in not appeasing those that still considered that the graves in Darfur were not sufficiently full.

JAN GRAULS ( Belgium) said a comprehensive solution to the problem of Darfur should entail a four dimensional approach:  political, military, humanitarian and judicial.  Those elements were complementary and the fight against impunity was not an end in itself.  Convictions of those responsible for war crimes could contribute to the progress in the other dimensions, directly or indirectly.  Once again, one had to deplore not only the lack of cooperation by the Sudan Government, but even outright support to individuals subject to an arrest warrant, in particular Mr. Harun.

The prospects for political progress in Darfur were discouraging, he said.  The suffering of the population was unspeakable, including from killings and rapes.  The legal path must be pursued with determination.  The conclusion of the Prosecutor that there was a criminal plan involving the entire State apparatus was alarming.  Those responsible must be brought to justice.  He urged the Sudanese authorities to fully cooperate with the Prosecutor and the Court by apprehending and turning over to The Hague the two individuals subject to the arrest warrants.  The Council should remind the Government to cooperate with the International Criminal Court under resolution 1593.  That was also the position of the European Union.

VICE SKRACIC ( Croatia) said the Prosecutor had left no doubt as to who he believed was responsible for the crimes being committed in Darfur.   Croatia was very disappointed by the Sudanese Government’s lack of cooperation with the Court.  Moreover, that Government’s promotion of war crimes indictee Haroun to a senior-level humanitarian position was further evidence of its disregard for its obligations.  Because of the clarity of Mr. Ocampo’s presentation, Croatia believed that strong action by the Council was needed to solicit the cooperation of the Sudanese Government.

Croatia, therefore, supported the Costa Rican draft presidential statement currently under negotiation by the Council.  It also supported the work of the International Criminal Court.  Costa Rica was aware of the sensitivities on the ground and believed that, while movement was needed on all tracks, allowing impunity to persist was not a way to achieve a political settlement.  He called on the Sudan to comply with all Security Council resolutions and to cooperate with the Court.  Croatia also backed the recent European Union announcement that it would consider certain punitive measures, if the Sudan continued its non-compliance with the Court.

RICARDO ALBERTO ARIAS ( Panama) said that, one year after the Court had issued arrest warrants for Harun and Kushayb, the Government had done nothing to arrest and hand over those accursed to The Hague.  The Prosecutor had told the Council today that the Sudanese Government was in fact doing everything to cover up, deny and minimize the extent of the crimes being committed.   Panama and the wider Council must call on the Sudan to comply with resolution 1593 (2005).  Failing to hold the Government accountable to its obligations would only lead to more impunity and violence.

He said that Panama could not overlook the Prosecutor’s clear and dramatic account of violence being committed against unarmed citizens and his impression that, if something was not done, the people of Darfur would simply disappear.  “If that is not genocide, then I don’t know what name we should give it,” he said.  He called on all those that had signed the International Criminal Court’s founding Rome Statute to ensure that everything possible was done to end impunity.  The Court must receive the support required to bring those who committed the worst crimes against humanity to justice.  Finally, he said that Panama supported Costa Rica’s draft presidential statement.

MARCELLO SPATAFORA ( Italy) said the Prosecutor had given a clear, focused and appalling briefing.  More than three years had gone by since adoption of resolution 1593 and serious crimes continued to be committed in Darfur by all parties, in a climate of total impunity.  The briefing had confirmed the need for a more robust approach to the conflict in Darfur.  The pursuit of such a solution, however, could not be seen as a reason for postponing full compliance with resolution 1593.  The victims were seeking peace and justice.  The credibility, responsibility and the accountability of the Organization and its Member States were at stake.  The Organization was accountable to the women who were objects of the crimes, to the children and to those who suffered.  

He said resolution 1593 must be fully implemented, including the provision that the Government of the Sudan shall cooperate fully.  He was strongly concerned by a continued lack of cooperation, by the fact that the warrants had not been executed, and by the fact that one of the indictees still held a position in the Government.  His country called on the Government of the Sudan and all other parties in Darfur to comply with all obligations under Council resolutions.  In that regard, he wondered if Member States were modifying the Charter’s Article 58 [that stipulated States’ obligation to adhere to Council resolutions] by “acquiescence”.  Fighting impunity had rightly become one of the priorities of the international community, but that principle had yet to be translated into practice.  Darfur was an opportunity to do so.

HASAN KLEIB ( Indonesia) said he deeply regretted the refusal by some of Darfur’s rebel movements to participate in the political process led by the Special Envoys of the African Union and United Nations.  The Security Council might consider acting on its stated willingness to take action against any party seeking to undermine the peace process in Darfur.

It was also regrettable that no progress had been achieved in cooperation between the Court and the Government of the Sudan, he continued.  It would have to be resumed if the judicial processes were to go forward, including on the two new investigations being conducted, one on crimes committed against peacekeepers and humanitarian personnel, and the other on the mobilization of State apparatus to plan, commit and cover up crimes against civilians.  Investigations should be thorough, as well as comprehensive.  Both the Court and the international community must also be seen as impartial.

He said the Sudan’s sovereignty must always be respected, but rights and responsibilities came along with sovereignty.  The Sudan had an obligation to comply with the Council resolution that had been passed on the situation there, but implementation of that resolution and the Prosecutor’s actions shall neither nullify the principle of complementarity nor absolve the Sudan’s national court from its responsibilities over the perpetrators.  He was confidant the Sudan’s court would take up its responsibilities.  It was essential for it to cooperate with the Court in investigating and prosecuting the case selected by the Prosecutor.  Also, the Council must appreciate the independence of the Court.  Once a case was referred to the Court, the legal processes must be allowed to take their due course.

PAUL ROBERT TIENDREBEOGO ( Burkina Faso) said that, with respect to the complexities of the situation in Darfur and the extent of the conflict, the question should be addressed with a maximum of caution, impartiality and patience.  He regretted that the mechanisms and institutions established by the Government to assist in that matter were not, as yet, functioning properly.  He called on Khartoum to take all necessary measures to ensure they became fully operational, as soon as possible.  At the same time, he said no stone should be left unturned to reveal those responsible for the crimes being committed in Darfur.  That could not happen without broad cooperation between the Court and the Government of the Sudan.

He went on to say that, despite the myriad efforts being undertaken by the United Nations and the wider international community, the conflict in Darfur continued.  He pleaded with all parties to respect the lives of civilians and the lives and mission of humanitarian workers, in accordance with international law.  While the Sudanese Government bore the bulk of the responsibility in that regard, the speedy and full deployment of UNAMID would also help with the protection of civilians.  The only path to peace in the Sudan was through ending the conflict in Darfur.  He called on the Sudan and its neighbours to reaffirm their commitment to peace in Darfur, and indeed, the wider subregion.

ABDELRAZAG E. GOUIDER ( Libya) said the difficulties in achieving the objective of ending impunity were well known.  The Office of the Prosecutor should present a sobering prosecution, which did not hasten to condemn prior to trial and closely scrutinized diverse pieces of evidence.  The current report referred to investigations that were still under way.  Numerous paragraphs contained varied legal and political accusations against the highest organs of the State and its military and security institution, in many cases on the basis of media and political reports.  Nothing was being said about the practices of the rebel movements.  The matter has been moulded as if it related to the conduct of a State solely obsessed with destroying the basis of its existence, namely its people and the tribal and social fabric.

He said that the intensity of the statements invoking resolution 1593 compromised the atmosphere of cooperation called for by that same resolution.  Cooperation was a dynamic process that could take place only through calm dialogue and mutual confidence, regardless of positions and differences.  There was no hope for that when national judicial proceedings were marginalized.  Peace and justice were indivisible.  Justice for the Sudanese people could only be achieved through a political process that respected the sovereignty of Member States.  That process could achieve harmony, stability and security by addressing the root causes of the conflict.  The Council must focus on that process.

BASO SANGQU ( South Africa) said that, as a member of the International Criminal Court, his country saw it as central in ending impunity for international crimes and in establishing conditions under which justice and the rule of law could be maintained.  He was acutely aware of the challenges facing the Prosecutor, arising primarily from the fact that the Court did not have its own police force or army to give effect to its arrest warrants and was, therefore, entirely dependent on the cooperation of States.  The Security Council had the responsibility to demand the cooperation of States, particularly in cases where the Council had referred cases to the Court.

In resolution 1593, he continued, the Council had called upon the Government of the Sudan and all other parties in Darfur to cooperate fully and provide the necessary assistance to the Court and the Prosecutor.  But, there had been no progress with regard to the International Criminal Court arrest warrants.  He, therefore, urged the Government of the Sudan and other parties involved in Darfur to cooperate fully with the International Criminal Court.  There could be no sustainable peace without justice in Darfur, and it was vital to bring to justice those accused of bearing the primary responsibility for the crimes committed.  He also noted, with disappointment, that, since the Prosecutor’s previous report to the Council, the situation in Darfur had not improved and civilians continued to be targeted.  South Africa continued to support a comprehensive approach towards the resolution of the conflict in Darfur, including the political, security, humanitarian and judicial tracks.  His country supported a declaration from the Council on that issue.

LA YIFAN ( China) said that his delegation had noted that the Prosecutor’s Office had continued its communication with the Sudan’s neighbours and African Union representatives on the situation in Darfur.  He appreciated those and other efforts to seek solutions to impunity.  He was following closely the situation in Darfur and regretted that the conflict was continuing.  He found it all the more heartbreaking to see the deterioration of the humanitarian situation.  He reaffirmed his Government’s condemnation of crimes against civilians and human rights violations.  He also reaffirmed support for the International Criminal Court and its role in the global effort to end impunity.

He went on to say that, while bearing in mind that the Court acted as a subsidiary to national judicial institutions, China hoped that the Sudanese Government would enhance it communication with the Court, strengthen cooperation and establish mutual trust towards jointly resolving impunity in Darfur.  At the same time, the international community should continue its two-track strategy, focusing on UNAMID’s deployment and political negotiations.

Indeed, he believed the overall effort needed to reinforce mutual cooperation and political negotiation, rather than division and isolation.  While some were eager to resolve the issue of impunity, China believed that it was not realistic to do it in a hurry.  Under the broader picture, with other areas also facing challenges, it was impossible for judicial matters to achieve speedy progress, he added.

GENNADY KUZMIN ( Russian Federation) said that the fight against impunity was indeed important, but it must be carried out in collaboration with the overall effort to achieve peace in Darfur and the wider Sudan.  That goal would not be easy, but he believed it was “doable”.  He regretted the reports of ongoing violence in Darfur and hoped that the current Council mission would help establish a clearer picture of the situation on the ground.

Much had been said this morning about cooperation between the Sudanese Government and the International Criminal Court, but rather than stepping up unilateral pressure on Khartoum during this sensitive time, the international community would do well to promote mutual cooperation, he continued.  In order to bring about a comprehensive resolution to the situation, there was a need for a full-fledged investigation into all matters.

JEAN-PIERRE LACROIX ( France) said that, by adopting resolution 1593 (2005), the Council had intended to make the crimes committed against civilians in Darfur a central element of the threat to peace and security in the Sudan.  France had fully supported the Council’s referral to the International Criminal Court, because it showed that the Council and the Court were complementary.  The report of the Prosecutor described the crimes that continued to be committed and demonstrated that the Sudanese Government was not cooperating with the Court and was not executing the Court’s arrest warrants.  Mr. Harun had gotten new public responsibilities and Mr. Kushayb was back in active service. 

He said that, in its resolution, the Council had stipulated that the Government of the Sudan and all parties must cooperate fully with the Court.  The Council mission visiting the Sudan had confirmed that the Government did not intend to comply with the resolution and, thereby, rejected the Council’s authority.  The Council must support the actions of the Prosecutor, in particular where he announces new arrest warrants.  The Council must also firmly defend its authority and that of the Charter.  France fully supported the European Union statement of 31 March, in which it called on the Government of the Sudan to cooperate unconditionally with the Court and stated that it would adopt new measures in case of non-compliance with resolution 1593.

HOANG CHI TRUNG ( Viet Nam) said that continued efforts were needed to create favourable conditions for the peace process in the Sudan, including promoting trust and cooperation of all concerned parties.  He strongly supported the United Nations activities, including the missions mandated by the Council, to help bring about peace, security and stability to the country.  Part of the comprehensive endeavours in the Sudan was fighting against impunity.  Justice for victims of violations of international humanitarian and human rights law was a component of a long-term and sustainable peace in the Sudan.  At the same time, it was important to respect the legal principles and be sensitive to the complex and volatile situation in the country.

The Council had referred the situation in Darfur to the International Criminal Court, while also encouraging the Court to support international cooperation with domestic efforts to promote the rule of law, protect human rights and combat impunity in Darfur, he continued.  For that process to be successful, the international community should try to find appropriate ways to promote further cooperation and participation of the Sudan, as a sovereign State, with the International Criminal Court –- an independent judiciary body, which, in accordance with its Statute, had a complementary jurisdiction to national jurisdiction.  Confrontational attitudes and mistrust were not helpful and should be avoided.

He encouraged the Government of the Sudan to step up the efforts of its judicial bodies in exercising national jurisdiction on violations in Darfur, including through cooperation with the International Criminal Court and other countries.  All the parties to the conflict in Darfur should abide by national and international law and participate in the Darfur Peace Agreement, as well as the peace process jointly led by the United Nations and the African Union.  Consolidation of peace and stability in Darfur would provide favourable conditions for promoting the rule of law and combating impunity.

DAVID QUARREY ( United Kingdom) said his delegation endorsed the Prosecutor’s observation that ending impunity was an essential component to ending the conflict in Darfur.  It was, therefore, distressing to hear that violence was continuing and the humanitarian situation was deteriorating in that region of the Sudan.  All parties to the conflict should cease acts of violence and work together towards peace, he said, adding that it was also vitally important that all those accused of the most serious crimes were brought to justice.  He called on all parties to the conflict to cooperate fully with the International Criminal Court and the Prosecutor’s Office.

He said such cooperation extended to all members of the international community, including the Sudanese Government, which had been particularly obligated under resolution 1593 (2005).  To that end, it was disturbing that no action had been taken by the Sudanese Government to execute the outstanding arrest warrants for Haurn and Kushayab.  He said the Security Council had given the International Criminal Court its mandate and Prosecutor Ocampo had worked assiduously to carry it out.  The Council should, therefore, respond in kind by adopting a strong presidential statement supporting the work of the International Criminal Court and calling on the Sudan to cooperate with that independent judicial body and its officials.

ZALMAY KJALILZAD ( United States), Council President, speaking in his national capacity, said the violence in Darfur must end, and those who had committed atrocities, genocide and war crimes must be brought to justice.  He agreed with the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court that the situation in Darfur remained alarming and that accountability for crimes against the people of Darfur was needed, in order to enhance security and to send a warning to the perpetrators.  The continuation of attacks on not only displaced persons and civilians, but also on UNAMID personnel and humanitarian workers was unacceptable.  Such violence was barbaric and the impunity fed the climate of violence.

He said the United States was deeply committed to peace and stability in the Sudan and the delivery of humanitarian aid.  It had committed more than $4 billion to that end, of which $400 million was being spent on building base camps for the peacekeepers and $100 million for training purposes.  The United States strongly believed that those responsible for the acts of genocide, war crimes and atrocities must be held accountable and must be brought to justice. 

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.