UNITED STATES NEWS

ICC prosecutor: There are grounds to believe Sudan’s warring sides are committing crimes in Darfur

Jan 29, 2024, 1:06 PM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The International Criminal Court’s prosecutor told the U.N. Security Council Monday his “clear finding” is that there are grounds to believe both Sudan’s armed forces and paramilitary rivals are committing crimes in the western Darfur region during the country’s current conflict.

Karim Khan, who recently visited neighboring Chad where tens of thousands of people from Darfur have fled, warned that those he met in refugee camps fear Darfur will become “the forgotten atrocity.” He urged Sudan’s government to provide his investigators with multiple-entry visas and respond to 35 requests for assistance.

Sudan plunged into chaos last April when long-simmering tensions between the military, led by Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan, and the Rapid Support Forces paramilitary, commanded by Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, erupted into street battles in the capital, Khartoum, and other areas.

Darfur, which was wracked by bloodshed and atrocities in 2003, has been an epicenter of the current conflict, an arena of ethnic violence where paramilitary troops and allied Arab militias have been attacking African ethnic groups.

The fighting has displaced over 7 million people and killed 12,000, according to the United Nations. Local doctors’ groups and activists say the true death toll is far higher.

In 2005, the Security Council referred the situation in Darfur to the ICC, and prosecutor Khan has said the court still has a mandate under that resolution to investigate crimes in the vast region.

He told the council: “Based on the work of my office, it’s my clear finding, my clear assessment, that there are grounds to believe that presently Rome Statute crimes are being committed in Darfur by both the Sudanese armed forces and the Rapid Support Forces and affiliated groups.”

The Rome Statute established the ICC in 2002 to investigate the world’s worst atrocities — war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide — and the crime of aggression.

In Darfur, Khan warned, the world is confronted with “an ugly and inescapable truth” relating back to the original conflict.

“The failure of the international community to execute the warrants that have been issued by independent judges of the ICC has invigorated the climate of impunity and the outbreak of violence that commenced in April that continues today,” he said.

“Without justice for past atrocities, the inescapable truth is that we condemn the current generation, and if we do nothing now, we condemn future generations to suffering the same fate,” Khan said.

The 2003 Darfur conflict began when rebels from the territory’s ethnic sub-Saharan African community launched an insurgency accusing the Arab-dominated government in Khartoum of discrimination and neglect.

The government, under then President Omar al-Bashir, responded with aerial bombings and unleashed local nomadic Arab militias known as the Janjaweed, who are accused of mass killings and rapes. Up to 300,000 people were killed and 2.7 million were driven from their homes.

Khan told the council Monday that some Darfuris he spoke to in Chad said what’s happening today is worse than 2003.

Last April, the first ICC trial to deal with atrocities by Sudanese government-backed forces in Darfur began in The Hague, Netherlands. The defendant, Janjaweed leader Ali Muhammad Ali Abd–Al-Rahman, also known as Ali Kushayb, pleaded innocent to all 31 charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Khan urged the parties to the ongoing conflict to respond “meaningfully” to requests for assistance from Abd-Al-Rahman’s defense team.

The prosecutor said he was pleased to report to the council that there has been “progress” in the ICC cases against former president al-Bashir and two senior government security officials during the 2003 Darfur conflict, Abdel-Rahim Muhammad Hussein and Ahmed Haroun.

“We’ve received evidence that further strengthens those particular cases,” Khan said. The three have never been turned over to the ICC, and their whereabouts during the current conflict in Sudan remain unknown.

United States News

Associated Press

Several people shot at Oakland Juneteenth Celebration, police say

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A Juneteenth celebration turned violent when several people were shot, police in Oakland, California, said. The Lake Merritt event on Wednesday night was largely peaceful, with as many as 5,000 in attendance, until a sideshow involving “motorbikes and vehicles” took place at Bellevue and Grand avenues at around 8:15 p.m. on […]

4 hours ago

Palestinians displaced by the Israeli air and ground offensive on the Gaza Strip walk through a mak...

Associated Press

Rifts seem to appear between Israel’s political and military leadership over conduct of the Gaza war

In a rare public rift between the country’s leadership, an Israeli army spokesman appeared to question the goal of destroying Hamas.

11 hours ago

Associated Press

Probe finds carelessness caused Jewish student group’s omission from New Jersey high school yearbook

An investigation into how and why a Jewish student group was erased from a New Jersey high school yearbook found the omission was caused by negligence and carelessness, but was not done on purpose or out of malice, the school district announced Wednesday. East Brunswick Public Schools hired a law firm to investigate after the […]

12 hours ago

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday, June 18, 2024, that he wants to restrict students' ...

Associated Press

California governor wants to restrict smartphone usage in schools

Gavin Newsom announced he wants to restrict students' usage of phones during the school day, citing the mental health risks of social media.

12 hours ago

Associated Press

Shooting in Philadelphia wounds 7 people, police say

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Seven people were wounded Wednesday evening in a shooting in Philadelphia, police said. The shooting happened just before 6:30 p.m. in North Philadelphia. The victims include a 19-year-old man who was shot in the leg, a 31-year-old woman shot in the hand, a 23-year-old man shot in the buttock, and two women […]

13 hours ago

Associated Press

Boaters find $1 million of cocaine floating off Florida Keys

MIAMI (AP) — Recreational boaters found $1 million worth of cocaine floating in the ocean off the Florida Keys. Samuel Briggs II, the acting chief patrol agent of the U.S. Border Patrol, wrote about the find in a social media post on X. Briggs posted video Monday night showing the wrapped packages of cocaine being […]

16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

ICC prosecutor: There are grounds to believe Sudan’s warring sides are committing crimes in Darfur