‘Justice for Darfur’ calls for the arrest of Sudan gov’t officials

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Rights groups numbering more than 2,000 and under the banner “Global NGO Coalition on International Criminal Court (CICC)” Friday launched a campaign dubbed “Justice For Darfur”, and called for the immediate arrest and trial of two Sudanese government officials for crimes committed in the region.

CICC revealed in a communiqué, that on 27 April, 2007, Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo issued warrants for the arrest of the two officials — Ahmad Muhammad Harun and Ali Muhammad Ali Kushayb — perceived to be responsible for grave crimes committed in the troubled region of Darfur, Sudan, between 2003 and 2004.

“The issuance of the arrest warrants which was the first concerted action by the international community to address the conflict, is part of the moves to end the unspeakable horrors,” said the coalition’s Programme Director, Tanya Karanasios.

The Sudanese government, however, was said to have openly defied the Court and the international community.

“The government of Sudanese President Omar el-Bashir has consistently refused to cooperate. It has been one year; too long for the victims of the conflict who continue to pay the price for the government’s blatant disregard for human rights, ” she stated.

“Failure to ensure that both Kushayb and Harun are brought to the ICC compromises the United Nations Security Council’s legitimacy and its mandate to maintain international peace and security.”

The CICC therefore made a fresh clarion call for the “immediate arrest and surrender of the two, stressing “Anything less than this calls into question the global commitment to heed the cries of ‘never again’ that were issued more than a half century ago.”

Meanwhile, Harun who was previously State Minister of the Interior responsible for the Darfur Security Desk at the time of the crimes, was last year appointed State Minister for Humanitarian Affairs in Darfur with direct authority over the victims of his alleged crimes.

“Most recently, he was named the Sudanese government liaison with UNAMID, the United Nations-African Union hybrid peacekeeping mission in Darfur,” the coalition pointed out with regret.

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