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Urgent Concerns Raised at UN Security Council Regarding Atrocity Crimes in Sudan

By: ATN News


United Nations: In a sobering address to the United Nations Security Council today, International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Karim Khan raised serious concerns about alleged atrocity crimes being committed by the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces in Darfur. Emphasizing the urgency of international intervention, Khan urged compliance with international law to halt the spread of violence and impunity in Sudan.


Khan stated, "We are fast approaching a breaking point," highlighting that since April 2023, 7.1 million people have been internally displaced in Sudan, with an additional 1.5 million fleeing to neighboring states. He underscored the need for the international community to realize that the situation in Darfur requires a departure from business as usual, emphasizing the risk of a wider conflagration.

The Prosecutor called for innovative solutions, asserting that mere judicial orders and court judgments alone cannot address the crisis. He pointed out that the failure to execute warrants issued by the Court has contributed to a climate of impunity and the ongoing violence since April 2023.


Khan emphasized the grounds to believe that Rome Statute crimes are being committed by both the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces in Darfur. He urged all parties involved to promptly transmit relevant information to the Court, emphasizing, "The obligation to comply with international humanitarian law cannot be diluted to a ritual incantation."


During the ensuing discussion, Security Council members expressed concern over the humanitarian and security consequences of the conflict in Sudan. Some drew parallels between the current violence and that which occurred in Darfur in the early 2000s, emphasizing that lasting peace in the region requires justice and the rule of law.


The representative of the United States declared the Court as a critical tool in the fight against impunity and announced a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest, transfer, and conviction of Ahmad Muhammad Harun, former Minister of State for the Interior, for war crimes or crimes against humanity.


While some representatives, including Guyana's, welcomed positive steps by the Sudanese Government, others, such as Mozambique's representative, stressed the need for the Prosecutor's Office and the Court to observe the principle of complementarity, respecting Sudan's sovereignty.

However, the representative of the Russian Federation criticized the Court, asserting that it has been sabotaging Council mandates and acting as an instrument of external interference for 20 years.

Sudan's representative, defending the government's stance, argued that despite active cooperation with the Prosecutor's Office, allegations of atrocity crimes by the Sudanese Armed Forces are baseless, as the country is defending itself against multilateral aggression.


In response, Prosecutor Khan, reiterating the severity of the situation, emphasized the evidential significance of cooperation and expressed hope that the Sudanese Government would provide material information to address the crisis in Darfur.


Members of the Security Council have expressed deep concern over the escalating conflict in Sudan, highlighting the catastrophic scale and dire humanitarian repercussions. Reports indicate ethnically motivated attacks, sexual and gender-based violence, and massive displacement of people, prompting urgent calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities.


The representative of Japan emphasized the need for all parties to uphold international humanitarian law, stop the violence, and respect justice processes. She underscored the significance of accountability for past atrocities in preventing further international crimes and establishing lasting peace.


Switzerland echoed the call for an immediate ceasefire and welcomed investigations by the Prosecutor's Office. The representative urged Sudanese authorities to cooperate with the Court, including providing access to necessary documentation and witnesses. Switzerland also expressed support for the Court's digitalization efforts.


The United States highlighted Secretary of State Antony Blinken's determination of crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing in Sudan. The representative welcomed the Prosecutor's prioritization of accountability and announced a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest of Ahmad Muhammad Harun.


China emphasized the Court's adherence to complementarity, independence, and cooperation with Sudan. The representative urged a focus on overall peace and stability, cautioning against exacerbating animosities and politicization.


Ecuador stressed the importance of accountability for achieving peace and stability, welcoming the Prosecutor's efforts. The representative urged the Sudanese Government's cooperation, addressing pending requests for assistance, and ensuring the Court's mandate is fulfilled.


Malta commended the Prosecutor's decision to deploy field missions and urged continued cooperation, especially in investigating sexual and gender-based violence. Mozambique highlighted the need for political solutions, effective cooperation, and combating impunity for lasting peace in Sudan.


Sierra Leone expressed support for an effective and independent Court, emphasizing the strengthening of domestic capacity. The representative called for cooperation from Sudanese authorities, a durable ceasefire, and restoration of democratic order.


Guyana called for an immediate cessation of hostilities, welcoming the Prosecutor's expedited investigations, especially into crimes against children and sexual violence. The representative expressed concern over the lack of response from the Sudanese Government.


The Republic of Korea deplored the atrocities in Sudan, emphasizing accountability. The representative stressed the importance of concluding ongoing cases to send a message against impunity.


The United Kingdom welcomed progress in Abd-Al Rahman's trial and urged Sudanese authorities to provide information on other suspects. Concerns were raised about recent atrocities, and support for the Court's investigative teams in the region was emphasized.


Slovenia urged an immediate cessation of hostilities, emphasizing the urgent need for peace. The representative commended the Prosecutor's prioritization of sexual and gender-based violence investigations and welcomed progress in Abd-Al Rahman's trial.


Algeria stressed the integration of transitional justice and accountability in stabilizing Sudan, emphasizing the African Union's role. The representative expressed concern over foreign interference and called for adherence to legal frameworks.


The Russian Federation criticized the International Criminal Court (ICC), accusing it of sabotaging Security Council mandates and being a tool of external interference. France, as Council President, condemned human rights violations by Sudanese forces and urged all parties to cooperate with the Court.


Sudan, responding to remarks, contested the Prosecutor's cooperation assessment, detailing attacks by the Rapid Support Forces and alleging external support for aggression. The representative emphasized Sudan's entitlement to self-defense.


In response, the Prosecutor, Mr. Khan, underscored the urgency of meaningful justice, expressing hope for Sudanese cooperation and stressing the need for a new dynamic approach to address the escalating crisis and give voice to victims.

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