As Darfur rebel commanders Abdallah Banda and Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus arrive in The Hague for their 17 June voluntary appearance at the International Criminal Court (ICC), to answer charges of war crimes for their roles in the 2007 attack against African Union peacekeepers in Haskanita, ICC Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo stressed the significance of such co-operation. “It shows the importance of co-operation by all parties to the conflict, as required by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1593.”
“This is the culmination of months of efforts to secure the co-operation of Mr Banda and Mr Jerbo” said the Prosecutor. “The Security Council, when it referred the Darfur situation to the Court, requested Sudan and all parties to the conflict to fully co-operate with my office. As I reported to the Security Council last week, the rebel groups have shown respect for the Court’s decisions", he said.
“The appearance of the two suspects means that all the persons we wish to prosecute in connection with the Haskanita attack have now appeared before the Court.”
“My office had also offered the option of a voluntary surrender to Ahmad Harun and Ali Kushayb”, said the Prosecutor. “However, they refused to co-operate and the judges issued arrest warrants against them. The Government of the Sudan has refused to execute the warrants and has been found in non compliance of UNSC orders.”
“The rebel commanders will now face justice. Their attack on the Haskanita African Union camp in 2007 caused the death of 12 African Union peacekeepers - and worsened the plight of the thousands of civilians they came to help by leaving them without protection.”
Banda and Jerbo are the second and third persons respectively, to appear before the Court voluntarily in response to a summons. They were initially charged together with rebel commander Bahar Idriss Abu Garda, who voluntarily appeared before the Court on 18 May, 2009. Following his confirmation hearing on 19 October, 2009, ICC judges found that the attack constituted a crime under the Statute but that the evidence was insufficient to establish his individual criminal responsibility. The Prosecutor will therefore present additional evidence in a new confirmation hearing.
The International Criminal Court is an independent, permanent court that investigates and prosecutes persons accused of the most serious crimes of international concern, namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes if national authorities with jurisdiction are unwilling or unable to do so genuinely.
The Office of the Prosecutor is currently investigating in five situations: The Democratic Republic of Congo, Northern Uganda, the Darfur region of Sudan, the Central African Republic and Kenya.
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Source: Office of the Prosecutor