ICC chief prosecutor considering additional case against Darfur rebels

[JURIST] International Criminal Court (ICC) Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official profile] said Thursday that he will widen his investigation into war crimes in Sudan's Darfur region [JURIST news archive] to include attacks by rebel groups against African Union (AU) [official website] peacekeeping forces. Speaking at a press conference [UN News report] during celebrations for the tenth anniversary of the Rome Statute [PDF text], which created the ICC, Moreno-Ocampo said, "Any attack against peacekeepers is a crime under my jurisdiction." Moreno-Ocampo also indicated that his office is reviewing evidence related to such incidents, and now knows the identity of two rebel commanders who initiated the September 2007 attack on AU peacekeepers [NYT report] in the Darfur town of Haskanita. The New York Times has more. BBC News has additional coverage.

On Monday, Moreno-Ocampo applied for an arrest warrant [application, PDF; JURIST report] for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes for atrocities committed in Darfur. The Sudanese government has already rejected the ICC's jurisdiction and has refused to surrender two previously-named war crimes suspects [JURIST report]. Hundreds of thousands of people have allegedly been killed in Darfur by Sudanese military and janjaweed [Slate backgrounder] militia forces. The investigation that resulted in Monday's charges, which involved more than 100 witnesses in 18 countries, led Moreno-Ocampo to state before the UN Security Council [official website] in June that “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 Sudanese state apparatus.” The Security Council has repeatedly called on Sudan to comply with the ICC investigation, but Sudan has refused to do so, calling Moreno-Ocampo a "terrorist" [JURIST reports] and suggesting that he should be removed from office.

 

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