Thursday, June 05, 2008

Pressure grows for Darfur war crime suspects

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) — International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo on Thursday implored the UN Security Council to demand Khartoum arrest two Darfur war crimes suspects and said he would unveil new evidence next month.

"I ask the Security Council to send a strong message to the government of Sudan... requesting that they arrest Ahmed Haroun and Ali Kosheib," he told the 15-member council.

In May 2007, the ICC, the world's first permanent war crimes court, issued arrest warrants for Haroun, Sudan's secretary of state for humanitarian affairs, and Janjaweed militia leader Kosheib.

They are charged with 51 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including acts of murder, persecution, torture, rape and forcible displacement.

Moreno-Ocampo said that at the council's request his office would next month present new evidence exposing the facts and identifying those most responsible for the Darfur crimes.

Richard Dicker, an official with New York-based Human Rights Watch, told AFP that Moreno-Ocampo was likely to then announce new arrest warrants.

"The message needs to be heard in Khartoum that this (ICC) investigation is going up all the way up the chain of command," Dicker warned.

"Those in the (upper) echelons of the Sudanese government ought to be curtailing their travel plans because they may find themselves the focus of an international arrest warrant," he said. Read more >>>>>>>>

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