UN SG urges ICC parties to facilitate arrest of Sudan, Uganda suspects

[JURIST] UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon [official website] on Monday encouraged all nations involved in the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] to help arrest Sudanese and Ugandan crimes against humanity suspects [statement]. The ICC has executed arrest warrants for seven men who have not yet been taken into custody - two Sudanese men accused of crimes against humanity for actions taken in Darfur [JURIST news archive], and five Ugandan men accused of kidnapping thousands of children to serve as mercenaries or sex slaves. The Sudanese government, not a signatory to the ICC's Rome Statute [PDF text], refuses to hand over suspected criminals to the ICC. In October, ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official profile] called on citizens worldwide to "break the silence" [JURIST report] to pressure their governments to help apprehend Sudanese war crimes suspects in Darfur for prosecution by the ICC. Moreno-Ocampo has previously called on Sudan itself to arrest Sudanese war suspects, but Sudan has responded by saying the ICC does not have jurisdiction to prosecute Sudanese war suspects.

Similarly, the Ugandan government refuses to hand over members of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) [MIPT backgrounder; JURIST news archive] while the Ugandan government brokers a peace deal with the LRA. Last month, the ICC declined to withdraw the five Ugandan arrest warrants [JURIST report]. In 2005 the ICC indicted [ICC materials; JURIST report] five leaders of the Lord's Resistance Army, including LRA leader Joseph Kony [BBC profile], for orchestrating the killing of thousands of civilians and the enslavement of thousands more children over two decades of conflict. The Ugandan government has indicated that they will refuse to sign any peace agreement unless the ICC withdraws its indictments. The government has also said that Kony is willing to face trial at home [JURIST report], but not at the ICC. AP has more. The UN News Centre has additional coverage.

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