Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), called out countries for failure to arrest and surrender President Al Bashir to the court during visits in a statement to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on the Situation in Darfur on December 14.
She said that more than 13 years after the Security Council referred the Darfur issue to the Tribunal, efforts to bring justice to victims continue to be constrained by the lack of cooperation of states, including the parties to the court, state members of the Council, and the Republic of Sudan.
During a meeting of the Security Council, Bensouda noted that in the absence of cooperation, the five suspects against the backdrop of the situation in Darfur are still evading justice, “all of whom occupied positions of responsibility at the time of their alleged crimes, namely officials of the Government of the Republic of Sudan: Mr Omar Al Bashir, Mr Ahmad Harun and Mr Abdel Hussein; militia leader Mr Ali Kushayb, and rebel leader Mr Abdallah Banda. Notably, several of these suspects continue to hold senior positions within the Government."
“If the Council and the States Parties do not take concrete action to assist its Office in its investigations and in the arrest of suspects in Darfur, justice for the victims will not be achieved” in the region, Bensa warned.
In March 2018, Jordan failed to comply with obligations to the ICC by not executing its request to arrest and surrender Al Bashir to the Court when he was in the country. According to the ICC, his immunity as Head of State under customary international law does not bar countries from requesting his arrest and surrender.
During July 2018, Al Bashir also travelled to Djibouti and Uganda. Both countries have previously been referred to by the Assembly of States Parties and the UNSC for their failure to arrest and surrender the president during visits in 2016.
The Prosecutor stressed to the UNSC that this is "an unacceptable situation which must not be permitted to continue. Justice delayed is justice denied. The judgment of victims and the critical eyes of history are upon us."