Darfur atrocities planned by Sudan government: ICC report

[JURIST] Top Sudanese officials have been intimately involved in the planning, execution, and cover-up of atrocities committed against the civilian population of the country's Darfur [JURIST news archive] region, according to a report [PDF text; press release] to be delivered to the UN Security Council [official website] Thursday by International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official profile]. The report accuses the Government of Sudan (G0S) of planning attacks against citizens in Darfur, including ground assaults by Sudanese forces and Janjaweed [Slate backgrounder] militia:

The mobilization of the state apparatus to plan, commit and cover up crimes against civilians, in particular the Fur, Massalit and Zaghawa, is the focus of the Office’s other investigation. GoS forces associated with Militia Janjaweed target civilians in villages and camps. GoS aircraft bomb civilian targets, including markets and schools. Widespread rapes are intended to destroy the foundations of communities. The humanitarian situation is manmade and deteriorating. In and around the camps for displaced persons, insecurity and poverty, meant to destroy the spirit and existence of entire groups, are organized. Impunity reigns.

Crimes being committed today in Darfur cannot be denied, or minimized. Decisions to commit crimes, to deny crimes, to disguise crimes are taken at the highest level. Denial of crimes, by the authorities that vowed to protect Darfurians, is an additional harm to the victims. If the international community is persuaded to look away and fails to recognize the situation for what it is, the execution of a massive criminal plan, it would be a final blow to the victims, left with no hope for the present and no prospect for the future.
AP has more.

On Wednesday, Sudan accused Moreno-Ocampo of hindering the peace process for Darfur [Reuters report] by preparing a "fictitious and vicious" case against its government officials. In December 2007, Sudan rejected [JURIST report] Moreno-Ocampo's previous report to the UN Security Council, in which he condemned Sudan for failing to hand over Minister for Humanitarian Affairs Ahmed Harun [TrialWatch profile]. In February 2007, Moreno-Ocampo asked the ICC to issue summonses [JURIST report] for Harun and Janjaweed militia leader Ali Kushayb [TrialWatch profile] for "jointly committed crimes against the civilian population in Darfur." In May 2007, the ICC issued arrest warrants for the two [JURIST report], charging them with several war crimes including murder, rape, torture, crimes against humanity, pillaging, and attacks on the civilian population.

 

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