Sudan.. ICC Launches Investigation into Possible War Crimes in Darfur

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The International Criminal Court (ICC) has initiated an investigation into potential new “war crimes” in Darfur, Sudan, as announced by ICC prosecutor Karim Khan during a session of the United Nations Security Council on Thursday, July 13th. The court expresses “great concern” over the escalating violence in the country after three months of conflict, aiming to prevent a repetition of history. The civil war in Darfur during the early 2000s resulted in the tragic loss of 300,000 lives.

Karim Khan, the ICC prosecutor, views this new investigation as a message to all armed belligerents who possess weapons and believe they can act with impunity, including attacking civilians.

The ongoing conflict between two generals in Sudan since April 15th has already claimed 3,000 lives and displaced over 3 million people. Reports of mass graves, looting, burning of houses, and summary executions have surfaced. Various NGOs and experts have previously raised alarm bells, with Human Rights Watch urging the ICC on Tuesday, July 11th, to investigate “war crimes” in the Darfur region near the Chad border.

Through this investigation, the ICC aims to document potential new war crimes, although Karim Khan has accused the Sudanese authorities and rebels of insufficient cooperation with the court’s efforts.

“It is essential that all parties involved in the hostilities recognize, even belatedly, that they must abide by their obligations under international law. There can be no more excuses, red herrings, or justifications for the intolerable and unjustifiable actions that target the most vulnerable individuals in humanity,” stressed Karim Khan.

The prosecutor has instructed his teams to prioritize investigating “crimes against children, sexual crimes, and gender-based violence.”

The ICC previously received a referral from the United Nations Security Council in 2005 and subsequently issued arrest warrants against three former leaders, including former Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir, for “genocide” and “crimes against humanity.” However, these individuals were never handed over to the ICC.

Soukaina Sghir

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