Amid worsening violence in Sudan’s Darfur region, a frustrated International Criminal Court prosecutor pleaded on Monday for the United Nations Security Council to take action to ensure justice “for the long-suffering victims of atrocity crimes.”
Wanted President Omar Hassan al-Bashir has traveled freely within Africa and has not yet been arrested.
The Hague-based court issued an arrest warrant for Sudan’s President al-Bashir, who is accused of crimes including alleged genocide in the country’s western Darfur province, in March 2009.
Yet Bashir rejects the court’s authority.
“It is long overdue for you to heed the cries of the victims of rape and sexual abuse, torture, mass displacement and other inhumane suffering Darfurians continue to endure,” said ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.
The United States, Britain and France have said the suffering in Darfur was at its worst level in a decade.
“Innocent civilians continue to bear the brunt of insecurity and instability, in particular as a result of what appears to be an ongoing government campaign to target them,” Bensouda said.
“The people alleged to be most responsible for these ongoing atrocities are the same people against whom warrants of arrest have already been issued,” she said.
The ICC’s Bensouda said the court had made ten referrals to the Security Council for non-compliance, including Sudan, Chad, Kenya, Djibouti, Malawi and Democratic Republic of Congo, but the 15-member council has not responded to any of the referrals.