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ICC urges Sudan to surrender Darfur war crimes suspects

[JURIST] ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official profile] on Saturday called on the government of Sudan to arrest and surrender two war crimes suspects wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website]. In a statement [text] noting that arrest warrants [JURIST report] for the two suspects - former Sudanese Minister of the Interior Ahmed Muhammad Harun and former militia leader Ali Kushayb [Trial Watch profiles] - were issued a year ago, the prosecutor's office said:

The Court transmitted the warrants to the Government of the Sudan on 16 June 2007. The Government of the Sudan has not responded; the GoS is not cooperating. The GoS has not complied with the UN Security Council Resolution 1593.

One year after the issuance of the warrants, Ahmad Harun and Ali Kushayb are free in the Sudan. Ahmad Harun is today Minister of State for Humanitarian Affairs. "He attacked Sudanese people, his people, those he vowed to protect as Minister; he is an indicted minister, he is a fugitive" said the Prosecutor, adding "he will end up in Court."

In Darfur today, 2.5 million people displaced in camps are under attack; women are raped, leaders are eliminated. "Crimes are thoroughly organized. Destitution is organized. Insecurity is organized. The mobilization of the state apparatus to plan, commit and cover up the crimes is the focus of our second investigation. I will report the progress of my investigation to the United Nations Security Council on 5 June. Then I will proceed to the Judges, presenting my evidence on who is bearing today the greatest responsibility for the ongoing attacks against civilians; who is maintaining Harun in a position to commit crimes, and who is instructing him and others", stated the Prosecutor.

Today, he added, "I urge the international community to send a strong and unanimous message to the Government of the Sudan, requesting the execution of the arrest warrants. The GoS, as the territorial State, has a responsibility to do so. They can, they must surrender the two indicted criminals now, and break the system of violence and impunity in Darfur."
Late last year, Moreno-Ocampo urged the UN Security Council to push for the two suspects' arrests, saying that the Sudanese government has not cooperated with efforts to arrest the men [JURIST report] and accusing the government of continuing to commit crimes in Darfur [JURIST news archive]. Sudan dismissed Moreno-Ocampo's statements as biased [JURIST report].

Sudan has not signed the ICC's Rome Statute [PDF text] and has repeatedly rejected the ICC's jurisdiction [JURIST report] over the Darfur situation [ICC case materials].

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