International Criminal Court to investigate crimes against humanity in Darfur

Thursday, June 9, 2005

The International Criminal Court has announced an investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Darfur region of Sudan.

51 names of suspects have been handed to the ICC by a UN inquiry into the crisis, in which up to 350,000 people have been killed and more than two million displaced by a militia force, the Janjaweed ('men on horses'). The attacks, repeatedly called genocide by the U.S. administration, are directed towards black Africans.

Kolawole Olaniyan, Director of Amnesty International’s Africa Programme, said: “This announcement brings hope for justice and accountability for the victims of killings, massive forced displacement and rape in Darfur.

“However, for it to be meaningful for the people of Darfur, there must be a commitment on the part of the Sudanese government to fully support the ICC investigation – including by protecting victims and witnesses and arresting and surrendering persons subject to ICC arrest warrants.

“The victims cry out for justice, not for the cosmetic actions of a government that still denies that mass rape has been committed and has shown itself to be unable and unwilling to address the crimes being committed in Darfur. There should also be reparations for the victims who have lost everything and are facing a third year of misery and insecurity in camps”.

The government of Sudan has so far refused to accept the validity of an international investigation.