Sudan : justice must be handed down and responsibilities identified
ICC/Sudan - Statement by Mr. Alexis Lamek, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - Security Council - 9 June 2016
I thank the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) for her twenty-third report and her briefing to the Council.
As has been noted, it has been 11 years since the Security Council adopted resolution 1593 (2005). That decision had the clear objective to prevent new atrocities by fighting impunity and thereby promoting the reconciliation and stability that are prerequisites of development. The goal of fighting impunity remains not only fully valid today, but fully necessary.
As emphasized by the Prosecutor’s report, the situation in Darfur remains marked by ongoing violence. The aerial bombing by the Government of the Sudan has intensified since the beginning of the year, indiscriminately and disproportionately affecting civilian populations. These ongoing attacks on civilians remain intolerable, as are violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. Women remain the targets of completely unacceptable sexual violence. Assaults and harassment against the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) and humanitarian actors, as well as the obstacles that are placed on their movements, prevent these organizations to carry out their mission to protect civilians and assist the most vulnerable populations.
In this context, more than ever, justice must be handed down and responsibilities identified so as to prevent and deter such acts. Impunity for past crimes and its implications for possible future crimes are unacceptable. We therefore regret that the arrest warrants issued by the International Criminal Court remain unenforced. This refusal to investigate and prosecute perpetrators can only feed the future cycle of violence in Darfur. And yet, the Council and the international community know the right direction and decisions to take in order to allow Darfur to regain peace and stability.
First, there can be no military solution to this conflict. The settlement of the conflict in Darfur is political by nature, and must involve the Government and rebel groups. We regret in this regard the lack of real progress towards establishing an inclusive process to work for lasting peace. The African Union Peace and Security Council has called for a comprehensive political solution, including in its regional aspects. The path to this goal begins with the cessation of hostilities by all parties. France supports the efforts of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel to advance in this direction.
Secondly, the protection of civilians must be fully ensured. The continuing violence and insecurity prevent any prospect for long-term stabilization and reconstruction. We regret that UNAMID remains subject to access restrictions and supply and operation blockages. It is essential that the Sudanese authorities fully cooperate to allow UNAMID to fulfil its mandate, in accordance with decisions of the Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council .Thirdly, unimpeded humanitarian access to civilian populations and the displaced must be facilitated and guaranteed. The needs of over 2.6 million displaced are enormous. Humanitarian actors must be able to respond. The expulsion of the head of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs is of concern in that regard.
Fourthly and lastly, it remains essential that the perpetrators of the crimes be prosecuted and that justice be done. I recall the importance of the obligation of all United Nations Member States to cooperate, in accordance with the resolutions adopted by the Council, without which the prosecution of the most serious crimes by the ICC will remain dead letter. This obligation rests primarily with the Sudan, which must execute the arrest warrants issued against its nationals for offences committed on its territory and cooperate with the Court, as required by resolution 1593 (2005). State parties to the Rome Statute also have a key role to play in terms of their statutory obligation to cooperate with the ICC and execute arrest warrants against persons within their territory. In that regard, we regret the fact that this requirement has not been met by some States in recent months. We are grateful to the Office of the Prosecutor for monitoring this major issue. In that context, the Council’s responsibility is clear and twofold.
On the one hand, the Council must make cooperation with the Court effective and ensure that arrest warrants are carried out. As emphasized by the Prosecutor, it is up to the Council to respond to instances of non-cooperation with the Court. In that regard, we are a ready to consider modalities for action by the Council. It is also essential that the Assembly of State Parties remain engaged on cases of non-cooperation with the ICC, as well as international organizations. In that connection, it is appropriate to continue limiting contacts with persons subject to an arrest warrant of the Court to those deemed essential in line with the Secretary-General’s policy. France recalls the importance of the United Nations as a whole continuing to implement those guidelines and apply the relevant provisions of resolution 1593 (2005).On the other hand, the Council must pursue efforts for an end to violence against civilians, as well as the search for an inclusive political solution. That is the only way to achieve long-term peace and stability in Darfur. To do that end, UNAMID has a significant role to play and should be able to fulfil its mandate. It is essential that free and unrestricted access be guaranteed to the mission throughout the entire territory of Darfur. That will be a point to which we pay particular attention during the next renewal of the mandate of UNAMID.I now resume my functions as President of the Council.