ICC Prosecutor presents case against Sudanese President, Hassan Ahmad AL BASHIR, for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur.
The Hague, 14 July 2008
Situation: Darfur, Sudan
ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo has presented evidence today showing that Sudanese President, Omar Hassan Ahmad AL BASHIR committed the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur.
Three years after the Security Council requested him to investigate in Darfur, and based on the evidence collected, the Prosecutor has concluded there are reasonable grounds to believe that Omar Hassan Ahmad AL BASHIR bears criminal responsibility in relation to 10 counts of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
The Prosecution evidence shows that Al Bashir masterminded and implemented a plan to destroy in substantial part the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa groups, on account of their ethnicity. Members of the three groups, historically influential in Darfur, were challenging the marginalization of the province; they engaged in a rebellion. AL BASHIR failed to defeat the armed movements, so he went after the people. “His motives were largely political. His alibi was a ‘counterinsurgency.’ His intent was genocide. ” The Prosecutor said.
For over 5 years, armed forces and the Militia/Janjaweed, on AL BASHIR orders, have attacked and destroyed villages. They then pursued the survivors in the desert. Those who reached the camps for the displaced people were subjected to conditions calculated to bring about their destruction. AL BASHIR obstructs international assistance. His forces surround the camps. One victim said: “When we see them, we run. Some of us succeed in getting away, and some are caught and taken to be raped -- gang-raped. Maybe around 20 men rape one woman. […] These things are normal for us here in Darfur. These things happen all the time. I have seen rapes too. It does not matter who sees them raping the women -- they don't care. They rape girls in front of their mothers and fathers”.
For over 5 years, millions of civilians have been uprooted from lands they occupied for centuries, all their means of survival destroyed, their land spoliated and inhabited by new settlers. ‘In the camps AL BASHIR’s forces kill the men and rape the women. He wants to end the history of the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa people’ said the Prosecutor. ‘I don’t have the luxury to look away. I have evidence’.
For over 5 years, AL BASHIR has denied the crimes. He says rape does not exist in the Sudan. This is a fabrication. “By preventing the truth about the crimes from being revealed; concealing his crimes under the guise of a ‘counterinsurgency strategy’, or ‘inter tribal clashes’, or the ‘actions of lawless autonomous militia’, AL BASHIR made possible the commission of further crimes. He promoted and provided impunity to his subordinates in order to secure their willingness to commit genocide” The Prosecutor said.
Al BASHIR’s intent to commit genocide became clear with the well coordinated attacks on the 2.450.000 civilians who found a haven in the camps. “AL BASHIR organized the destitution, insecurity and harassment of the survivors. He did not need bullets. He used other weapons: rapes, hunger, and fear. As efficient, but silent.” Said the Prosecutor.
Today, the evidence shows that AL BASHIR, instead of assisting the people of Darfur, has mobilised the entire state apparatus, including the armed forces, the intelligence services, the diplomatic and public information bureaucracies, and the justice system, to subject the 2.450.000 people living in IDP’s camps, most of them members of the target group, to conditions of life calculated to bring about their physical destruction.
“AL BASHIR is the President. He is the Commander in Chief. Those are not just formal words. He used the whole state apparatus, he used the army, he enrolled the Militia/Janjaweed. They all report to him, they all obey him. His control is absolute.” added Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo.
The Pre-Trial Chamber I will now review the evidence. If the judges determine that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the named individual committed the alleged crimes, they will decide on the best manner to ensure his appearance in court. The Prosecution has requested an arrest warrant.
For more information please contact:
Florence Olara, OTP Public Information Coordinator
+31 (0) 6 5029 4476 (cell)
In The Hague:
Ms Nicola Fletcher, OTP Media Liaison
+31 (0)70 515 8071, cell: +31 (0) 65 089 0473