26 May 2010The International Criminal Court (ICC) has referred to the Security Council Sudan’s failure to cooperate in arresting a former minister and a pro-Government militia chief charged with war crimes in the Darfur conflict, including the murder of civilians and rape. The International Criminal Court (ICC) has referred to the Security Council Sudan’s failure to cooperate in arresting a former minister and a pro-Government militia chief charged with war crimes in the Darfur conflict, including the murder of civilians and rape. It is now up to the Council “to take any action it may deem appropriate,” the court said in a news release.Three years ago, the ICC’s pre-trial chamber I issued arrest warrants for former Minister of State for the Interior Ahmad Harun and alleged Janjaweed militia leader Ali Kushayb for the alleged murder of civilians, rape and outrages upon the personal dignity of women and girls, persecution, forcible transfers, imprisonment or severe deprivation of liberty, and attacks intentionally directed against civilians.These crimes against humanity and war crimes were committed during clashes allegedly between the Government, combatants from the Sudan People’s Armed Forces, the Popular Defence Force and the Janjaweed, against rebel groups, including the Sudanese Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). Although Sudan is not a State Party to the Rome Statute that set up The Hague-based ICC, it is obliged to “cooperate fully with and provide any necessary assistance to the Court and the Prosecutor” in accordance with a Security Council resolution adopted in 2005. As a UN Member State, Sudan has agreed “to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council.”This ICC said the chamber’s decision is without prejudice to other decisions or actions it may take in other cases arising from the situation in Darfur. A third arrest warrant was issued in March, 2009, for Sudanese President Omar al Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity.In another case, the chamber in February declined to confirm war crimes charges against rebel leader Bahar Idriss Abu Garda, due to insufficient evidence, in a 2007 attack that killed 12 peacekeepers serving with the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) and wounded eight others.AMIS was the predecessor to the joint UN-AU peacekeeping mission (UNAMID), which is entrusted with quelling the violence in Darfur, where an estimated 300,000 people have died and another 3 million displaced as a result of fighting that began in 2003 between Government forces, backed by the Janjaweed, and various rebel groups.The Chamber is examining the prosecutor’s application for arrest warrants or summons to appear against two other individuals for war crimes committed during the 2007 attack.Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will be in Kampala, Uganda, on Monday to convene the first review conference of the ICC.
The High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Valentin Inzko, told the 15-member body that challenges to the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement have become so frequent and direct in recent months that they deserve special attention.“Questioning Bosnia and Herzegovina’s sovereignty and its future as a State must stop,” he stated. “The international community must not tolerate such challenges, and we must ensure that we are equipped with the will and capacity to manage them…“We are in a critical phase and we must express more clearly than ever what is expected of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s political leaders and what will not be tolerated,” he added. “They must stop their divisive behaviour and finally start leading the way to the country’s full reintegration in the interests of all its citizens.”In particular, he noted that the “anti-State, secessionist rhetoric” emanating from the current leadership of Republika Srpska – one of two semi-autonomous entities that make up the country – has intensified and worsened considerably during the past six months. “It would be a mistake to dismiss these words as empty or election-driven rhetoric,” said Mr. Inzko, highlighting a “comprehensive effort” to erode and in some cases eliminate the functionality of the State and its institutions.Mr. Inzko added that it had been expected that the new governing coalition in the country would get down to addressing the pressing needs of its citizens and work on the next phase of the accession processes for the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Instead, a protracted effort to reconfigure the governing coalition began in early June, a process that will hopefully be resolved by the end of the year. “Bosnia and Herzegovina cannot afford to continue falling further and further behind other countries in the region,” he noted. “The consequences of this will be dire – economically, socially and politically.”The Council is expected to take action this week on the mandate of the EU stabilization force (EUFOR), which assumed peacekeeping responsibilities in 2004 when it took over from a stabilization force led by NATO and is tasked with ensuring that all sides continue to comply with the Dayton accords.