UN / ICC SUDAN BASHIR

12-Dec-2017 00:02:51
The Chief Prosecutor of International Criminal Court (ICC) said failures to apprehend Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir are a “flagrant violation” of the Rome Statute and “undermine” the Security Council’s reputation. UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / ICC SUDAN BASHIR
TRT: 02:51
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 12 DECEMBER 2017, NEW YORK CITY
SHOTLIST
FILE- NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UNHQ exterior

12 DECEMBER 2017, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Fatou Bensouda, Chief Prosecutor, International Criminal Court (ICC):
“My Office has been of the firm and consistent view that such failures to apprehend Mr Al Bashir are not only a flagrant violation of the Rome Statute but equally undermine this Council's own reputation and are an affront to the respect owed to its resolutions.”
4. Med shot, delegates
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Fatou Bensouda, Chief Prosecutor, International Criminal Court (ICC):
“This costly inaction has the potential to undermine the fight against impunity, the effect of which is to lower the bar of accountability that many have fought to raise. This continuous nonfeasance only serves to embolden others to invite Mr Al Bashir to their territory, safe in the knowledge that there will be no consequences from this Council for such breaches.”
6. Med shot, delegates
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Fatou Bensouda, Chief Prosecutor, International Criminal Court (ICC):
“The foregoing events altogether underscore the detrimental impact on the Court's reputation and credibility in the eyes of victims who have pinned so much hope on the Court to deliver justice for their suffering.”
8. Med shot, Sudanese ambassador
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Fatou Bensouda, Chief Prosecutor, International Criminal Court (ICC):
“To the victims of Rome Statute crimes allegedly committed in Darfur, I pledge to you that I and my Office will continue our efforts to bring those responsible for such crimes to justice. Notwithstanding the challenges we face, our resolve is unshakable. And I hope there will be solace in knowing that as history of international criminal justice has often demonstrated in practice, time is not on the side of perpetrators, but the victims and the cause of justice.”
10. Med shot, delegates
11. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Omer Dahab Fadl Mohamed, Permanent Representative of Sudan to the United Nations:
“Sudan is not a party to this Court, whose Prosecutor and her Office have been blinded by political motives to see the clear and explicit position of international law that any international convention or agreement is only binding to its parties.”
12. Wide shot, Security Council
13. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Omer Dahab Fadl Mohamed, Permanent Representative of Sudan to the United Nations:
“We view the targeting of the President of the Sudan, with baseless charges that are refuted by all evidences, is aiming against the political and security stability of the country and attempt to partition and dismember the country by pushing it into an endless disastrous civil war.”
14. Wide shot, Security Council
STORYLINE
The Chief Prosecutor of International Criminal Court (ICC) said failures to apprehend Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir are a “flagrant violation” of the Rome Statute and “undermine” the Security Council’s reputation.

Briefing the Security Council today (12 Dec), ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said the Council consistently failed to act when countries host the Sudanese President as an ICC suspect. She added that legal clarity has been claimed to justify the failure by States Parties to the Rome Statute to arrest and surrender Al Bashir, but stressed that there is no legal lacuna or ambiguity concerning their obligations in this regard. Bensouda urged the Council to employ its powers as a tangible demonstration of tis disapproval of such failures.

The Chief Prosecutor said the Council’s “costly inaction has the potential to undermine the fight against impunity, the effect of which is to lower the bar of accountability that many have fought to raise.” She added, “This continuous nonfeasance only serves to embolden others to invite Mr Al Bashir to their territory, safe in the knowledge that there will be no consequences from this Council for such breaches.”

Bensouda noted that since her last report Al Bashir visited several countries, including Uganda, Chad, Jordan, and Russia, which is not a party to the Rome Statue. She emphasized that these visits “underscore the detrimental impact on the Court's reputation and credibility in the eyes of victims who have pinned so much hope on the Court to deliver justice for their suffering.”

The Prosecutor noted that Sudan continues to adopt an antagonistic posture towards the ICC and refuses to provide any cooperation to the Court. She invited Sudan to rethink this position, adding that her office stands ready to constructively engage Sudan on the issue of surrendering any or all of the Darfur suspects to the Court. She said the Sudanese President and other suspects in the Darfur situation are alleged to have committed serious crimes under the Rome Statute against the people of Darfur, including murder, torture, and persecution. She stressed that her office will continue to independently and impartially investigate these allegations. She added that all the suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty and the burden of proving their guilt rests with the Prosecutor’s Office.

The ICC Prosecutor reported that her Office continues to receive reports of unlawful killings in Darfur and the forced displacement of some 40,000 people due to conflict, despite the decrease in the scale of violence in the region. She also underscored the fact that her Office’s budget annual budget is increasingly insufficient to support its growing workload and called on the Council to provide it with financial support for its on-going investigations in Darfur.

Addressing the victims of alleged crimes committed in Darfur, Bensouda said, notwithstanding the challenges, her Office’s resolve to bring those responsible to justice is “unshakable.” She added, “I hope there will be solace in knowing that as history of international criminal justice has often demonstrated in practice, time is not on the side of perpetrators, but the victims and the cause of justice.”

Sudanese ambassador Omer Dahab Fadl Mohamed said Sudan is not a party to the ICC “whose Prosecutor and her Office have been blinded by political motives to see the clear and explicit position of international law that any international convention or agreement is only binding to its parties.” He said the ICC would not like to see an end to the war in Darfur for it to achieve its political objectives.

Mohamed welcomed the reception of the Sudanese President by countries on bilateral or regional occasions on the basis of the major principles that govern relations between states, including peace, sovereign equality, and the exchange of mutual benefits and interests. He said, “We view the targeting of the President of the Sudan, with baseless charges that are refuted by all evidences, is aiming against the political and security stability of the country and attempt to partition and dismember the country by pushing it into an endless disastrous civil war.”

The Sudanese ambassador said the report presented by Bensouda included fabricated information about the current situation in Darfur, and on the numbers of displaced persons, and the violations committed. He said the figures used were exaggerated and do not compare to the reports of the UN peacekeeping department (DPKO) and called for a serious investigation and verification of the sources of information of the Prosecutor.
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