ICC refers Sudan government allies' case back to UNSC

26th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

The International Criminal Court will ask the UN Security Council to intervene given Sudan's "lack of cooperation" in pursuing two senior government allies for alleged war crimes, according to a court document seen Wednesday.

"After taking all possible measures to ensure cooperation", the court said, it has concluded that "the Republic of Sudan is failing to comply with its cooperation obligations ... in relation to the enforcement of warrants of arrest" issued in April 2007 for former government minister Ahmed Haroun and militia leader Ali Kosheib.

Signed by three judges, the court document instructed the registry to inform the UN about Sudan's lack of cooperation "in order for the Security Council to take any action it may deem appropriate".

The warrants for Haroun, Sudan's former secretary of state for humanitarian affairs turned regional governor, and Janjaweed militia leader Kosheib, list 51 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes allegedly committed in the war-torn Darfur region.

Charges include murder, torture, mass rape and the forced displacement of entire villages.

The United Nations says more than 300,000 people have been killed since the Darfur conflict broke out in 2003, when minority rebels took up arms against the Arab-dominated Sudanese government for a greater share of resources and power.

The Sudanese government, not a state party to the ICC's founding statute, puts the death toll at 10,000.

Sudan's President Omar al-Beshir is also wanted by the ICC for alleged war crimes in Darfur under a warrant issued in March 2009.

He rejects the jurisdiction of the ICC, the world's only independent, permanent court with authority to try genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, and has refused to hand over Haroun and Kosheib.

In March 2005, the Security Council referred the situation in Darfur to the ICC for investigation.

But last month, the office of the prosecutor asked judges to involve the council as Sudan was refusing to cooperate.

"The Security Council is vested with the power to address and take any action in respect of Sudan's failure to cooperate with the court," the judges' decision said.

© 2010 AFP

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