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Remarks by Legal Advisor and Deputy Political Coordinator Ina Heusgen in the Security Council VTC Meeting on the ICC Report on Sudan, June 10, 2020

10.06.2020 - Speech

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First of all, I would like, as my colleagues, to highlight the enforcement of the arrest warrant against Mr. Kushayb. We congratulate all that have contributed to that arrest – first and foremost, of course, the Prosecutor's office. Holding the perpetrators of the most serious crimes accountable is of essence in the fight against impunity.

Germany continues to be encouraged by political developments in Sudan. We strongly condemn the attempted assassination of Prime Minister Hamdok in March 2020 and urge all sides to continue working towards a peaceful transition of power with a democratically elected government fulfilling the democratic aspirations of the Sudanese people.

It is encouraging to hear that the peace negotiations continue despite the obstacles caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Reconciliation is fundamental to achieving such a political transition. This can only happen when those who are responsible for atrocities, especially in the Darfur conflict, are held accountable and are prosecuted.

We concur with the Prosecutor that accountability for crimes under the Rome Statute and full respect for respect for the rule of law and human rights are indispensable prerequisites for sustainable peace, stability and development in Sudan. Germany, therefore, encourages authorities in Sudan to ensure accountability, swift concrete steps, including at the national level. In line with the principle of complementarity, it is the primary responsibility of states to investigate and prosecute crimes under the Rome Statute. However, if crimes under international criminal law do not fall under national jurisdiction, Sudan needs to cooperate with the United Nations and the International Criminal Court, not least in order to ensure accountability. Security Council resolutions need to be fully implemented by all member states, and this includes the obligations to cooperate, support, and specifically to arrest and surrender suspects for whom arrest warrants have been issued.

Germany strongly supports the ICC with regard to the prosecution of the serious crimes committed since 2005. These crimes should not go unpunished. There have to be criminal proceedings against former president Omar Al Bashir, against Ahmad Muhammad Harun and Abdel Raheem Muhammad Hussein.

They have been in prison in Sudan on charges of corruption and for what's happened over the past year, but not with regard to their alleged responsibility for the crimes committed in Darfur. Eventually, all persons involved in these crimes have to face justice.

We have followed with interest Sudan's commitment to cooperate with the ICC on this matter, as announced by Mr. Al-Ta’ishi and others in February of this year. We encourage Sudan to now take concrete steps towards closer cooperation, such as permitting the Office of the Prosecutor access to the territory of Sudan.

Finally, Germany calls on UN member states, and particularly on the members of this Council, to keep up their support for the International Criminal Court as the key element in our common fight against impunity. We ask to respect the independence of the Court and to abstain from undue interference. We call on those which have not yet joined the Rome Statute to do so.

 

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