Alarming degradation of the situation in South Sudan - 15 December 2015 [fr]
Security Council - Situation in South Sudan– Speech by François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations – December 15, 2015
I thank Ms. Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), for her twenty-second report and her briefing.
Ms. Bensouda reminds us again, more than 10 years after the adoption of resolution 1593 (2005), that civilians in Darfur remain the targets of violence, in particular at the hand of the Government, and that the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) is not fully able to exercise its mandate to protect civilians.
We share the concerns highlighted once again in the Prosecutor’s report, which reflect those expressed by the Council in resolutions 2173 (2014) and 2228 (2015). Those include the ongoing deterioration of the security situation in Darfur; the ongoing aerial bombing carried out by the Sudanese Air Force, resulting in direct and indirect civilian casualties; the ongoing clashes among tribes caused by obstructed access to natural resources; the prosecution of the crimes of rape and sexual violence in which the Government’s armed forces might be involved; the ongoing forced displacement resulting from the continued violence and military escalation; the arrest of political opponents and threats and attacks against humanitarian personnel; the numerous obstacles to the delivery of assistance to civilians by humanitarian organizations and to the implementation of the UNAMID mandate; and lastly, the apparently new factor of a mass influx of non-Sudanese populations.
As Ms. Bensouda has also recalled, the arrest warrants issued by the International Criminal Court over 10 years ago have still not been executed. Five individuals have been indicted for war crimes, crimes against humanity and, in one case, the crime of genocide, and continue to evade the jurisdiction of the Court. For the most part, they continue to occupy senior positions in the State apparatus of the Sudan. Such a situation of impunity only encourages the continuation of atrocities and, as Ms. Bensouda reminds us, undermines the credibility of international criminal justice.
The Council has long known how to respond to the situation. Halting those numerous forms of violence and crime involves, in particular, the following five components.
First, it involves concluding and implementing a political solution that involves the Government and the rebel groups. On that account, we regret that the latest national pre-dialogue meeting, held in Addis Ababa several weeks ago, did not lead to substantial progress. Efforts must be pursued to end the hostilities, which must facilitate a comprehensive political solution, as envisaged by the African Union Peace and Security Council. That is a precondition for a lasting settlement to the crises in the Sudan.
Secondly, it involves the effective protection of civilians and full cooperation on the part of the Sudanese authorities in allowing UNAMID to implement its mandate. The ongoing violence and absence of security prevent any prospect of stabilization and long-term reconstruction. The human consequences of the crisis remain exceptionally serious, while the Sudan has more than 2.6 million long-term internally displaced persons and violence against civilians — especially against women — and looting persist.
Thirdly, it requires unhindered humanitarian access to civilian and displaced populations. In that regard, we regret that UNAMID remains subject to restrictions in its access and the ongoing target of attacks and harassment. It is essential that it be ensured free and unrestricted access throughout all of Darfur.
Fourthly, it involves prosecuting the perpetrators of crimes and an effective campaign against impunity. As the Prosecutor noted, the Sudan, which is bound to cooperate with the Court and fight impunity, has taken no action to prosecute the responsible parties for crimes committed in Darfur. On 19 November, the Court issued a new decision on non-cooperation on the part of the Sudan with regard to the Banda case. That is the eleventh time that the Court has noted a lack of cooperation. It is also appropriate to recall that the States parties to the Rome Statute have a key role to play with regard to their obligation to cooperate with the ICC and to execute its arrest warrants when the individuals subject to them are within their territory.
Fifthly, it requies limited contacts between persons subject to arrest warrants and those who are deemed to be essential, in line with the Secretary-General’s policy. France calls upon the United Nations as a whole to apply those directives and implement the relevant provisions of resolution 1593 (2005).
In that context, the Council must act on two fronts. First, it must encourage parties to end all violence against civilians. That means that all members of the Council must acknowledge the ongoing deterioration of the situation of civilians, noted once again in the Prosecutor’s report. It also requires UNAMID to be fully able to carry out its mandate, including by ensuring its complete and unhindered freedom of movement.
We also need to make cooperation with the International Criminal Court effective and ensure that it is able to execute arrest warrants, which is necessary in order for the Court to carry out its mandate. It is the Council’s responsibility to respond to cases of non-cooperation that the Court brings to its attention and to that of the Assembly of States Parties, as recalled in its resolution of 26 November. International organizations must also remain mobilized with regard to cases of non-cooperation with the International Criminal Court.