ICC prosecutor halts Darfur investigation

ICC prosecutor halts Darfur investigation

[JURIST] International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda [official profile] told the UN Security Council [official website] Friday that her office is dropping its investigation [report, PDF] into the situation in Darfur [ICC materials]. According to Bensouda, there has been no substantial progress in the investigation into President Omar Al Bashir [advocacy website] and his associates since 2009. The ICC lacks a policing force and therefore relies on the Security Council to compel Bashir and his associates to stand trial. The ICC ordered Bashir to face charges against humanity, war crimes and three counts of genocide. Bashir responded that “They wanted us to kneel before the international criminal court but the ICC raised its hands and admitted that it had failed” and further stated that the Sudanese people had defeated the ICC. The prosecutor blames the Security Council for the inaction in the case. Bensouda stated “the Security Council’s inaction will only embolden perpetrators to continue their brutality.”

The Darfur cases stalemate has been a problem for the past few years. In June Bensouda urged [JURIST report] the Security Council to take action to end the conflict in the Darfur region. In March more than 30 human rights and civil society organizations called [JURIST report] for Bashir’s arrest. March marked the fifth anniversary [JURIST report] of President Bashir’s indictment by the ICC. In June 2013 Bensouda announced [JURIST report] her disappointment with the lack of support from the Security Council with regard to the situation in Darfur and further described it as going from bad to worse.