The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Fatou Bensouda, continued her two-day visit to Darfur with a meeting in Nyala, capital of South Darfur, yesterday where she met with the wali (governor) of the state. She also met with the displaced in Kalma Camp, South Darfur.
At the meeting in Nyala yesterday, South Darfur wali Mousa Mahdi affirmed that his state would facilitate and support the ICC’s mission to track down and bring to justice the perpetrators of war crimes in Darfur.
He further stressed that the state government is ready to support the investigators in reaching out to the victims.
In a press statement, Bensouda explained that her visit to Darfur has the purpose of listening to both the government and the victims, rather than investigation. A team of ICC investigators is due to arrive soon to gather information and evidence.
Bensouda called on the displaced people to provide the investigators with a full account of the crimes committed in Darfur.
Bensouda also travelled to the Kalma camp for the displaced for an interactive session with internally displaced persons (IDPs) and their camp leaders. She told the displaced: “My Office remains firmly committed to the pursuit of justice for atrocity crimes in Darfur. Your continued support is crucial to that common goal”.
"My Office remains firmly committed to the pursuit of justice for atrocity crimes in Darfur. Your continued support is crucial to that common goal"
She also expressed her “most sincere admiration” for the Darfuris and their courage, resilience, and quest for justice.
Next to addressed the IDPs in the interactive session, she visited the mass graves at the camp.
Her delegation was welcomed by a large crowd with chants calling for the surrender of ICC suspects to the court.
The representative of the IDPs, Yagoub Mohamed Abdalla, demanded the hand-over of all perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity to the ICC. Most importantly the ousted dictator Omar Al Bashir, former Minister of Defence Abdelrahim Hussein, and former Interior Minister Ahmed Haroun to face justice.
Bensouda is currently visiting the Darfur states and her visit has been described as ‘historic’. It comes two weeks before she is due to leave her office as ICC Prosecutor.
She started her visit in El Fasher, North Darfur, where she spoke with the local authorities and IDPs in North Darfur.
Bensouda also had a “productive first meeting” with Minni Minawi, leader of a breakaway faction of the Sudan Liberation Movement and since May also the governor of Darfur.