'ICC step gives Darfur victims new hope'
The referral of the Sudan file to the UN Security Council (UNSC) by the International Criminal Court (ICC) means “new hope” for the victims of crimes committed by the Sudanese government in Darfur.
Ahmed Hussein Adam, visiting scholar at Cornell University, stressed to Radio Dabanga that the step should be followed by concrete strategic actions to combat impunity, and revive the ICC Darfur file.
On Monday, the three judges of ICC Pre-Trial Chamber II decided to inform the UN Security Council (UNSC) about Sudan’s non-cooperation in the arrest and surrender of President Omar Al Bashir, and leave the UNSC “to take the necessary measures it deems appropriate”.
The ICC said in its statement to the UNSC that although Sudan is not a State party to the ICC Rome Statute, it has an obligation to cooperate with the ICC. This obligation stems directly from the UN Charter, as Sudan is a UN member since November 1956. The UNSC, under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, adopted Resolution 1593 in 2005, in which it was decided that the “Government of Sudan […] shall cooperate fully with and provide any necessary assistance to the Court and the Prosecutor pursuant to this resolution”.
The Darfuri scholar furthermore said that “the decision by the ICC constitutes an important message to those narrow-minded and ignorant of international law, who lauded the decision, thinking that the case is dead and they can get away with impunity”.
According to the spokesman for the Sudanese government, Information Minister Ahmed Bilal Osman, the ICC showed “its utmost failure” by referring the Al Bashir case to the UNSC. He told the press in Khartoum on Friday that that “the decisions of the ICC are not binding to the Government of Sudan”.
The Arab Lawyers’ Union rejected the referral of President Al Bashir’s case to the UNSC last week. In a statement, they called upon the African and Arab countries through the Arab League and the African Union to “decisively address these acts that represent a violation of the national sovereignty of Sudan”.
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