Violations of the International Criminal Court’s Rome Statute – including failure to arrest fugitives as they cross international borders - are unlikely to end if the Security Council remains unwilling to take action against such non-compliance,
the Court’s Chief Prosecutor said today, as she briefed the 15-member organ on her investigation into alleged crimes in the western Darfur region of Sudan.
“Justice delayed is justice denied,” Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda emphasized, outlining numerous instances of non-compliance by both the Government of Sudan and third-party States. Noting that five arrest warrants remain outstanding for current and former Sudanese officials ‑ including President Omer al-Bashir - she said they contain more than 60 counts of war crimes and 50 counts of crimes against humanity, such as extermination, murder, rape and torture. “The body of evidence is increasing, and my prosecution team continues to prepare in anticipation of the future arrest and surrender of any of the Darfur suspects,” she affirmed.
Noting that levels of violence in Darfur decreased over the reporting period, she said that impunity, as well as reports of serious crimes, regrettably persist. Meanwhile, Mr. Bashir and others accused of war crimes continue to travel internationally - including to States parties to the Rome Statute - with no response from the Council, she noted. In a related Arria-formula meeting in July, she recalled, several States voiced concern over such inaction and proposed concrete, workable measures to enhance cooperation between the Court and the Council. “I remain hopeful that the constructive dialogue and proposals at that meeting will provide further momentum,” she said, declaring: “The critical eyes of history are upon us.”
As Council Members took the floor, several speakers expressed support for the International Criminal Court’s investigation in Darfur – and elsewhere – despite growing criticism of its work. Some delegates called upon national authorities to apprehend individuals subject to the Court’s warrants when the opportunity arises, warning States parties to the Rome Statute, in particular, that any failure to do so risks undermining the Court’s credibility Court and denying justice to the victims of horrific crimes.
Hier die Rede von Fatou Bensouda im Wortlaut (engl.)