War crimes ongoing in Darfur, ICC says

Dec. 14, 2012 at 1:13 PM

UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- There may still be crimes committed in the Sudanese region of Darfur that may be a concern for the international courts, the ICC prosecutor said.

Fatou Bensouda, the chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Court, told the U.N. Security Council that there remains a general lack of progress in prosecuting those responsible for war crimes in Darfur. Crimes are still being committed there, she said.

"I must reiterate that these alleged ongoing crimes, similar to those already considered by the judges of the International Criminal Court on five separate applications, may constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide," she said.

Khartoum is obligated to cooperate with the ICC under the terms of a U.N. Security Council Resolution passed in 2005, though it's not party to the Rome Statute that created the court in The Hague.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is the subject of a 2009 arrest warrant issued by the ICC for war crimes committed in Darfur. An estimated 300,000 people have died there as a result of fighting between rebel forces and the government-supported Janjaweeed militia.

Several former government ministers and rebel leaders are at large and subject to ICC warrants.

"It should be clear to this council that the government of Sudan is neither prepared to hand over the suspects nor to prosecute them for their crimes," said Bensouda.

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