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A group of women in Um Baru, North Darfur.
© UNAMID/Hamid Abdulsalam/Hamid Abdulsalam

International Criminal Court: launched investigation into surging violence in Darfur

The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Karim Khan, announced an ongoing investigation into fresh allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Darfur region. The investigation includes recent reports of the killing of 87 members of the Masalit community by the Rapid Security Forces and its militia. Khan emphasized that the ICC's mandate includes crimes within its jurisdiction, such as genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. He urged the UN Security Council to support the principles of the UN Charter and the authority of the ICC to ensure accountability for these crimes. 

Khan has given clear instructions to prioritize crimes against children and sexual and gender-based violence. To gather information, a secure online portal has been set up where individuals can submit allegations of crimes and rights violations. The ICC Prosecutor called on all parties in Sudan to uphold their obligations under international humanitarian law and protect civilians.

Regarding specific cases, Khan provided updates on the trial of Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman, a senior leader of the Janjaweed militia, and other cases involving former president Omar Al Bashir and former ministers Ahmad Muhammad Harun and Abdel Raheem Muhammed Hussein, who face charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The report highlighted the escalating violence and alleged crimes, expressing concern about the Sudanese government's inability to prioritize justice and accountability. Under these circumstances, engaging in discussions with the government of Sudan regarding complementarity is deemed unfeasible. The ICC's Office of the Prosecutor is working with relevant partners to address the outstanding arrest warrants against Al Bashir, Hussein, and Harun, given the ongoing hostilities between the national army and the RSF militia.