[JURIST] Sudan is merely going through the motions with its planned probe [JURIST report] into Darfur human rights violations, said International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official website] in an interview [text] with the Sudan Tribune on Monday. Moreno-Ocampo commented that Sudan does not have the political will to bring human rights offenders to justice, noting that an earlier Sudanese investigation into genocide claims was led by Minister for Humanitarian Affairs Ahmed Haroun [JURIST report], himself wanted by the ICC:
They did it many times. They end up investigating no one. They even appointed Haroun to head a committee on Darfur human rights. This is part of the cover up and they have been saying this for years. The only individuals prosecuted are those who resist illegal instructions to attack people in Darfur such as pilots or soldiers.UPI has more.
Sudan Justice Minister Abdel-Basit Sabdarat said last week that he had named one primary prosecutor and three assistants to investigate and try war crimes suspects from the country's Darfur region [JURIST news archive]. The ICC in the Netherlands currently handles such proceedings, but if Sudanese domestic courts are created with appropriate human rights and accountability safeguards, the ICC is required to hand over jurisdiction under Article 16 of the Rome Statute [PDF text]. The announcement is seen largely as a reaction to the controversial effort [JURIST report] to seek an arrest warrant [application, PDF; ICC press release] for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir [BBC profile, JURIST news archive]. Both the League of Arab States (LAS) and the African Union (AU) [official websites] have criticized [JURIST report] the warrant and underlying indictment, saying they threaten peace in the unstable country and that Sudan will create its own internationally-monitored courts [JURIST report].