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UN report calls for Sudan war criminals to be tried by ICC

[JURIST] Continuing a story first reported yesterday on JURIST's Paper Chase, a UN report on whether genocide has been committed in Sudan [JURIST report] has accused the Sudanese government and its militia allies of killing, torturing and raping civilians in the Darfur region, but says that a policy to commit genocide had not been formed. A finding of genocide [UN backgrounder, BBC News analysis] would have imposed a legal obligation to act on the parties to the international Genocide Convention [text]). The report, released after its basic point was leaked Monday by Sudanese officials, nonetheless insisted that "The conclusion that no genocidal policy has been pursued and implemented in Darfur by the government authorities, directly or through the militias under their control, should not be taken in any way as detracting from the gravity of the crimes perpetrated in the region." The report recommends that a number of alleged war criminals designated in an accompanying list should be put on trial, with proceedings to be held at the International Criminal Court [official website] rather than a specially created war crimes court for Darfur, the approach favored by the US. BBC News has more.

9:25 AM ET - Rebels in Darfur Tuesday criticized the UN report for not finding that the Sudanese government and Arab militias in Darfur had committed genocide. Rebel leaders called the report's findings "political," and said the UN had not considered all available evidence, such as mass graves in the region. They did, howerver, welcome the UN-recommended prosecution of government and militia officials for war crimes. Reuters has more.

11:40 AM ET - UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has released a statement [text] on the UN commission report on Sudan.

2:05 PM ET - The complete report [text, PDF] is now available online.

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