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Rights group urges UN to cooperate with ICC relationship agreement

Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] on Thursday urged [press release] the United Nations (UN) [official website] not to aid alleged international war criminals after they provided transportation to Amhad Harun [INTERPOL profile], whose arrest warrant [JURIST report] was issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] in 2007 for war crimes related to the ongoing violence in Darfur [JURIST news archive]. According to AI, the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) provided Harun a helicopter so he could attend a meeting. Under Article 3 of the Negotiated Relationship Agreement [agreement, PDF] between the ICC and the UN, both organizations are supposed to "cooperate closely with each other and consult each other on matters of mutual interest..." and that the UN violated that agreement by providing transportation for Harun. AI's representative at the UN, Renzo Pomi, criticized the UN's actions in the statement:

It's outrageous that someone who is wanted by the ICC for crimes against humanity and war crimes is given transport by UN without being arrested. While the efforts by UNMIS to defuse tensions and prevent human rights violations should be applauded, providing a safe haven to somebody wanted for war crimes and crimes against humanity, instead of arresting him, is inconsistent with the UN's obligations.
Harun, a former Sudanese interior minister, faces 20 counts of crimes against humanity, including murder, rape and torture, and 22 counts of war crimes, including attacks against the civilian population, destruction of property and pillaging.

Last year, ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo called on the UN Security Council [official website] to support the arrest [JURIST report] of Harun and another war crimes suspect. Ocampo urged the Security Council to secure the execution of the outstanding arrest warrants in light of the fact that the Sudanese government, which bears the primary responsibility to do so, had not. Also last year, Ocampo referred Sudan to the Security Council [JURIST report] for lack of cooperation in the pursuit of Harun and Kushayb. ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I released a decision [text, PDF] asking the Security Council to take any steps it deems appropriate to compel Sudan to comply with its obligation under Security Council Resolution 1593 [text, PDF], which provides that "the Government of Sudan and all other parties to the conflict in Darfur shall cooperate fully with and provide any necessary assistance to the Court and the Prosecutor pursuant to this resolution.'' Since the ICC concluded that it has exhausted all its resources, the responsibility will now be shifted to the Security Council to take appropriate action. Sudan, which is not a permanent member of the ICC under the Rome Statute [text], refuses to recognize the court's jurisdiction, stating that "the International Criminal Court has no place in this crisis at all."

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