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5 June 2012 - Security Council - Sudan/ICC Report - Statement by Mr. Martin Briens, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of France to the United Nations

(UN translation)

I would first of all like to thank Mr. Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), for his report. Since 2005, he has briefed the Council in a transparent way on the judicial work carried out by his Office and the Court. As he steps down on 18 June, I would like to take this opportunity to extend to him France’s gratitude for his outstanding commitment to the fight against impunity, in particular in Darfur. I also congratulate Ms. Fatou Bensouda on her election to the office of Prosecutor. We have every confidence that, under her stewardship, the International Criminal Court will continue its work with the same independence and impartiality.

First of all, a reminder — it was the Council that referred the situation in Darfur to the International Criminal Court through a resolution under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter. The International Criminal Court did not take it on by itself. It was the Council that decided that the Sudan and other States Members of the United Nations should cooperate with the International Criminal Court on the case. The Council did that for two reasons. The first reason was the extent of the crimes committed in Darfur, some of which were crimes against humanity and crimes of genocide. The second reason was because the Council gives still greater importance to responsibility for crimes committed and the fight against impunity. Returning to the report, in it the Prosecutor recalls that four people indicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity, one of whom is accused of genocide, continue openly and publicly to evade the Court despite the arrest warrants issued against them by the International Criminal Court. President Al-Bashir, former militia commander Mr. Kushayb, Minister of Defence Mr. Hussein and the current Governor of Southern Kordofan, Mr. Haroun, are free. Sought for the massacre of thousands of civilians or accused of having carried out genocide, they retain key offices and are in a position to order new killings.

As the report underscores, impunity encourages them to continue the same methods in Southern Kordofan, where a serious humanitarian crisis is taking place behind closed doors. Despite the Government’s efforts to ban observers, everyone is well aware of the aerial bombings, the lack of basic health care, the arbitrary arrests, the gender-based violence and the blocking of humanitarian aid amid widespread famine. Just because the Sudanese authorities are doing their utmost to conceal that situation does not mean that we should allow ourselves to be deceived and to ignore our responsibilities. International justice must run its course, show that the threat against the perpetrators of crimes is not in vain, and deter others from taking the same path.

In order to justify the failure to execute arrest warrants, some people have invoked the primary role of the Sudanese national jurisdiction. Moreover, the Prosecutor, Mr. Moreno-Ocampo, since taking oath, has always demonstrated his attention to the primary role of national jurisdictions in the situations before the ICC. He has reviewed the work of all special jurisdictions established in the Sudan since the 2005. The conclusion is nothing. They have done nothing, and they cannot do anything since all perpetrators of the crimes enjoy complete immunity. That also, I recall, is President Mbeki’s conclusion in the report of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel on the Sudan (see S/2011/816).

Today, only the case against the leaders of rebel groups, Mr. Abdallah Banda and Mr. Saleh Jerbo, the perpetrators of the attack on the African Union base in Haskanita, is under way. They gave themselves up voluntarily and have agreed to suffer the consequences of their crimes. As the Prosecutor’s report points out, the international community’s inability to bring to trial the four indictees is a challenge to the authority of the Security Council, which, with the adoption of resolution 1593 (2005), demanded that justice for the crimes committed in Darfur be done. The obligation to cooperate decided by the Council has not been respected. As a result, the Prosecutor has called on the Council to undertake fresh consideration, including by asking Member States to prepare for arrest operations. That is nothing new. That has already been done for the International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda.

As the Prosecutor proposes, the Council could effectively consider new legal or operational measures so as to ensure that its resolutions are implemented. The Council, as well as the States parties to the Rome Statute, must demonstrate consistency. They cannot host on their territory an individual under an ICC arrest warrant without moving towards his arrest. Let us recall that such a duty to cooperate derives not only from the Rome Statute, but also from resolution 1593 (2005).



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Organisation des Nations Unies Présidence de la République France Diplomatie La France à l'Office des Nations Unies à Genève Union Européenne Première réunion de l'ONU