For Immediate Release. The Hague, 14th July 2008
ICC Prosecutor Indicts high ranking official
Since 2003, the people of Darfur have undergone terrible genocide coordinated by the government of Sudan. A savage scorched-earth campaign of rape, killing, pillaging and burning of villages was carried out with total impunity. More than 300,000 innocent civilians were killed and at least 4 million civilians in Darfur were affected by the armed conflict including internally displace persons (IDPs) and refuges. As a result of the ongoing campaign more than 4,000 villages were totally destroyed. UN Security Council Resolution 1593 (2005) adopted on March 31st, 2005, referred the situation in Darfur to the International Criminal Court under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter because it constitutes a threat to international peace and security.
The government of Sudan played a detrimental role in impeding the efforts of African Union and United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) as well as those of the international humanitarian relief organizations to protect and aid the civilian victims of the conflict in Darfur. GoS has even pursued a policy of targeting UNAMID force and relief workers. On July 8th 2008, seven UNAMID soldiers were killed in Darfur by unknown assailants. The question is who is responsible to hamper UNAMID force from executing their mandate and protect civilians in need in Darfur?
One of the main demands of the people of Darfur especially the victims of the armed conflict in Darfur is that justice takes its course. Justice for the people of Darfur should go hand in hand with negotiations for peaceful settlement. It is both moral and legal obligation in the part of the international community that the perpetrators of the genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur be held accountable.
We, the undersigned Darfur civil society organizations, urge the international press and media to play their pivotal role in raising awareness about the genocide in Darfur. They should help build the necessary momentum in support of the ICC’s work on Darfur and the Prosecutor’s concern about the gross crimes committed in our beleaguered region. We call upon the international press to increase efforts in persuading the international community to keep the situation in Darfur at the top of their agenda. Equally the media should make all efforts to ensure that the ICC conduct its work successfully and that all perpetrator, who ordered, supported or orchestrated the genocide in Darfur in particular those individuals at the highest government ranks, should be held to accountable and punished.
1) Darfur Call – The Netherlands
2) Darfur Relief and Documentation Centre - Switzerland
3) Darfur Peace and Justice - Belgium
4) Darfur Peace and Development – USA
5) Darfur Centre for Human rights and Development - UK