The Security Council must to take resolute action to combat impunity in the Sudan [fr]
Sudan - Statement by Mrs Anne Gueguen - Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations Mme Anne Gueguen - Security Council - 20 June 2018
On behalf of France, I sincerely thank Prosecutor Bensouda and her team for the important work they have been doing for six years in the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC). France appreciates the importance that such a mission represents for her and her team, who are engaged on a daily basis in rooting out and identifying culpability; for the victims, who await recognition and reparation; and for witnesses, who have chosen to place their trust in justice in a context that is anything but simple. That is why it is important that we steer a clear course. Our focus is on combating impunity for crimes committed in Darfur. Our biannual debate today is a clear reminder of that.
When the Security Council, in resolution 1593 (2005), referred the situation in Darfur to the ICC Prosecutor 13 years ago, it was because members were collectively convinced that they must act to ensure that no further atrocities were committed in Darfur and that there would be no reconciliation or stability in the Sudan without justice for the victims. Those objectives have not yet been achieved. It is the Council’s responsibility to take resolute action to combat impunity in the Sudan and to put an end to the crimes committed in Darfur. Ensuring that justice is served is essential to any long-term stabilization in Darfur and the Sudan.
Certainly, the overall improvement in the security situation makes stabilization possible, which is an encouraging development. However, many challenges remain. That is particularly true in Jebel Marra, where people continue to suffer. France also remains concerned about the persistence of intercommunal conflicts and militia activities, which remain a major cause of concern for the populations, in particular for the most vulnerable. Too many women still fall victim to sexual violence in Darfur. We must also remain attentive to the plight of the displaced populations. There are still nearly 2 million displaced people in Darfur, for whom lasting solutions have yet to be found. That requires continued efforts to end the fighting and violence against civilians, in particular in Jebel Marra, including by reaching a cessation of hostilities agreement. Addressing the root causes of the conflict is also essential, in particular with regard to land, access to natural resources and restoring the rule of law. It is also imperative to pursue efforts to advance the political process. In all these areas, the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur plays an important role. It must continue to implement its mandate in the course of the ongoing reconfiguration. In particular, it is essential that the mission has access to areas where the protection of civilians and humanitarian access are critical, be it in Jebel Marra or elsewhere.
The fight against impunity for the most serious crimes and respect for human rights are also fundamental to achieving long-term stabilization in Darfur. In order for people who have suffered to regain confidence in their environment and return to a normal life, it is essential that the perpetrators of crimes be identified and held accountable for their actions. France recalls once again the importance of the obligation to cooperate with the Court, in accordance with the resolutions adopted by the Council. That applies to the implementation of the arrest warrant against President Al-Bashir and the four other suspects identified by the Court. France rejects the trivialization of non-cooperation on the part of States Members of the United Nations, especially States parties to the Rome Statute. Of course, that obligation is primarily incumbent on the Sudan, which must execute arrest warrants against its nationals for acts committed on its territory and cooperate with the Court pursuant to resolution 1593 (2005).
The judges of the International Criminal Court have repeatedly recalled the obligation of States parties to the Rome Statute to cooperate with the Court and to execute arrest warrants when the people against whom they are issued are on their territory. Therefore, France regrets that persons subject to arrest warrants have not been arrested, in defiance of resolution 1593 (2005), the Rome Statute and the decisions of the International Criminal Court.
We must fulfil the Court’s legitimate requests so that it may fully carry out its mandate. We must ensure that cooperation with the ICC is effective and that arrest warrants are executed. The same applies to the implementation by the Council of its own resolutions, in particular resolution 1593 (2005).In that connection, France reiterates its proposal that States which, according to the Court, have not complied with their obligations to cooperate with the Court be invited to address the Security Council. It will then be up to the Council to determine, on the basis of that exchange of views, what action to take.