There is no peace in Darfur, and with invoking what the ICC has done, will that be conducing to peace in the area ?
What we said is that, first of all, we attach a very great importance to the mandate and to the mission of the ICC, particularly regarding Darfur. It is a mission that has been given to the International Criminal Court by the Security Council and the judiciary procedures that are launched by the Court have a dynamic of their own and they have to be respected, that is the first thing we said.
The second thing is that we have not seen anything so far in the behaviour of the authorities in Khartum that would warrant in our view resorting to article 16 of the Rome Status. What we have seen is no cooperation from that government on the issue of the ICC, and that is part of the reason why we are in the situation we are facing today. Let me remind you that there are two indictments so far by the pre-trial court of the ICC in Darfur and we have heard several times very strong statements by the government of Khartum and by the President of Sudan himself saying that he would not cooperate with the ICC on these indictements.
Therefore, you can imagine that if the SC would have decided to resolve today not even an indictement but only a recommendation by the Prosecutor, the Council would deprive all these previous appeals for cooperation to Kharthum of any meaning. We have to be consistent. We have repeatedly called for cooperation from Khartum with the ICC : that is what we are expecting.
The last thing is that we are now facing the task of extending the mandate of UNAMID : we have a draft resolution in front of us on this subject, and what the force needs, what Darfur needs is above all the extension of that mandate and the re-affirmation of the unanimous support of the Council for UNAMID : that is what is important. That is why we are not in favor of mixing the two issues. The Council should focus on the force and on reiterating its unanimous support to that force.
But the AU said they do no want the indictement against Mr Bachir to go forward. So if this indictement would affect the force, what is France position ?
We have noted the position of the African Union and you have noted that several other organizations have taken the stance : we aknowledge that.
But we are here at the Security Council and as I said we need to extend the mandate of UNAMID force. The force, as any other peacekeeping force, needs the unanimous support of the Council. It is important for the force, it is important for its ability to operate. Therefore, let us focus on that.
As I said, we do not think that it is appropriate for the Council to integrate article 16 in this resolution. We respect the position by AU but we do not think it is appropriate.
But this is a joint force. Does that have any implication in what the SC does in terms of considering the renewal ?
The Council is the Council ! He has a responsibility in extending the mandate. We have to take our responsibilities here at the Council which is on the force, on extending its mandate. And therefore, as I said, it would be inappropriate to the force, to UNAMID and eventually to the peace in Darfur to link the two issues. What we need is to be unanimous in supporting that force./.