ICC Chief Prosecutor: Effective power to arrest, surrender suspects in Darfur situation solely rests with States

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EYEAFRICA TV: New York, USA: International Criminal Court (ICC) Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said on Wednesday that the international community must support the apprehension and transfer of ICC suspects to the Court to answer the charges against them through a fair, independent and objective judicial process. She emphasized that the “effective power to arrest and surrender ICC suspects in the Darfur situation solely rests with States.”

She called on the UN Security Council and the international community to support arrest of suspects in the Darfur situation and asked, “How much longer should victims of the alleged atrocity crimes in Darfur suffer in silence or wait to have their torment acknowledged through concrete results?”

Briefing the Council on Wednesday, Bensouda said 13 years after it referred the situation in Darfur to the ICC the question begs asking, “how many more years and how many more reports will be required for this Council to be galvanized into taking tangible action?” She stressed that the Council had an important role to play in the effective implementation of its own resolutions.

Sudanese ambassador Omer Dahab Fadl said as a non-signatory party to the Rome Statue, Sudan had no obligations towards the ICC. He said the Court and the Prosecutor Office have restricted their jurisdiction to African nations and called for the arrest of a African President, which he said they would not dare do in any other region. He added, “This dilemma becomes increasingly clear when we know that the accusations and criminalization do not occur when a crime is committed which falls under the Court’s specialization, rather based on the nationality of the accused.”

Dahab Fadl stressed that Sudan was firmly opposed to the actions and activities of the ICC. He said, “The meddling of the Court imperils the security, political, and social stability in Sudan. It also risks the continuation of the conflict in Darfur and the persistence of violations by rebel movements, including violations targeting the victims whom the office of the Prosecutor claims to be protecting.

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