International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda told the UN Security Council [official website] Thursday that they are not doing enough [statement] to root out Sudanese war criminals. According to Bensouda, the situation in Darfur [JURIST news archive] continues to be of serious concern, and the ongoing violence constitutes war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Bensouda urged the Security Council to be more concerned, given that many continuing crimes have already been indicted by the court. She also expressed frustration over the lack of meaningful progress toward arresting those indicted by the court:
This Council referred the situation in Darfur because of its firm belief that the justice process is an essential component of any strategy aimed at truly stopping ongoing crimes and achieving peace in Darfur. We have always believed the referral to be a joint endeavour by this Council and the Court to contribute to lasting peace in Darfur through investigation and prosecution of those who bear the greatest responsibility for the most serious crimes. Indeed, in this and other contexts, this Council has reaffirmed the vital importance of promoting justice and the rule of law, including respect for human rights, as an indispensable element for lasting peace. My Office and the Court as a whole have done their part in executing the mandate given by this Council in accordance with the Rome Statute. The question that remains to be answered is how many more civilians must be killed, injured and displaced for this Council to be spurred into doing its part?Bensouda also noted that the government of Sudan is not prepared to prosecute the suspects, citing an apparement commitment to an ongoing military struggle.
The continued violence has been a major issue in Sudan. In October the UN urged [JURIST report] the Sudanese government to investigate an attack on one of its convoys, noting that since the establishment of African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) [official website] in December 2007, 43 peacemakers have been killed. In August 2012 the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights [official website] urged [JURIST report] Sudan to investigate violence against protesters in Darfur. In June the UN expressed concern [JURIST report] about deteriorating conditions in Sudan due to continued violent conflict. That same month UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay [official profile] urged Sudanese authorities [JURIST report] to take measures to prevent violence against protesters in upcoming demonstrations.