Press Release: 20 September 2007

ICC - ICC Prosecutor on Darfur: “Justice must be at the top of our agenda”

Press Release

ICC Prosecutor on Darfur: “Justice must be at the top of our agenda”


 (New York)  As world leaders prepare to convene at the United Nations, ICC Prosecutor, Mr. Luis Moreno-Ocampo, is meeting key actors at the UN to discuss why justice must be a priority for Darfur.

“We must break the silence,” he said at a press briefing at the UN.  “This week and next, when world leaders are meeting here at the UN, justice in Darfur must be on the agenda, at the top of the agenda.  In Darfur today, there can be no political solution, no security solution, and no humanitarian solution as long as the alleged war criminals remain free in the Sudan”

On Friday at the UN, the Second High Level Consultation on Darfur will take place. The meeting involves Ministers from more than 25 countries, as well as high-level officials from the United Nations, the European Union, the African Union and the League of Arab States. Just three days later, on Tuesday 25 September, the UN General Assembly begins its general debate and French President Nicolas Sarkozy will chair a UN Security Council meeting with Heads of State on peace and security in Africa.

In February 2007, the Office of the Prosecutor unveiled how former Sudanese Minister of State for the Interior Ahmad Harun developed a system, working with Militia/Janjaweed, to attack the civilian population of Darfur and force millions of people into camps.  In April 2007,  Judges at the ICC issued arrest warrants for Ahmad Harun and Militia/Janjaweed leader Ali Kushayb, for 51 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes.  The Government of the Sudan has not arrested and surrendered Ahmad Harun. “They are denying Ahmad Harun’s crimes. The world cannot share in this denial” the Prosecutor said.

Since 2005, Ahmad Harun, as Minister of State for Humanitarian Affairs, has had authority over the camps and has controlled the flow of humanitarian aid.  Reports by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and others point to deteriorating conditions in the camps:  men being killed and women raped if they venture outside the camps; regular attacks against humanitarian aid workers. There is also information that men, women, and children are being expelled from some of the camps with no place to go and no means of survival.  “Ahmad Harun is not protecting the camps; he is controlling them. He forced millions into those camps; and he still controls them. He must be stopped; he must be arrested. This is my goal. This is the Court’s goal. This must be our shared goal,” the Prosecutor said.

The International Criminal Court is an independent, permanent court that investigates and prosecutes persons accused of the most serious crimes of international concern: genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.   The Court is currently investigating four situations - Northern Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Darfur (Sudan) and the Central African Republic.

For more information, please contact:

In New York 20-22 September:
Jennifer Trone, Communications Advisor
Cell: +1 917 535 4937
[email protected]

In The Hague:
Ms Florence Olara
Public Information Coordinator
+31 (0)70 515 8723, cell: +31 (0) 65 029 4476
[email protected] 

Source: Office of the Prosecutor

Source: Office of the Prosecutor | Contact: [email protected]