Sudanese rebels visit ICC premises - Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan
November 21, 2013 (THE HAGUE) - The leaders of the rebel Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) on Thursday paid a courtesy visit to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and expressed willingness to collaborate with the war crimes court.
Photo shows the International Criminal Court in the Hague (AFP)
The rebel delegation led by SRF leader Malik Agar is touring European countries to explain their position over the comprehensive approach to bring peace and to establish a democratic regime in Sudan.
During their visit to the Netherlands, the SRF leadership visited the ICC headquarters where they met with an external relations officer from the Outreach unit. The delegation was briefed about the court functioning and it is different departments.
During a meeting with the ICC officials, the visiting delegation expressed its willingness to cooperate with the court saying they are ready to hand over any of their members including the leaders if they are accused of perpetrating any war crime.
The rebels further regretted the non-arrest of president Omer Al-Bashir in spite of the warrants issued against saying this not-arrest encourages him commit more atrocities and crimes as it was the case during the bloody repression of protesters last September.
The rebels said they will keep their efforts to mobilise the international community, rights groups and Sudanese people on the need to cooperate with the international court. They further stressed the need to carry out a, awareness and information campaign in Africa to explain the ICC mission.
The ICC issued two arrest warrants against Bashir in 2009 and 2010 for alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed in Darfur region.
Nonetheless, last June the ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda criticised the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) over its "inaction and paralysis" over Darfur cases.
Bensouda also criticised the UNSC for failing to intervene after neighbouring countries, most notably Chad, refused to arrest Bashir despite him taking several trips inside their borders.
The Sudanese rebels also attended a hearing at the court as it has started the trial of the Kenyan vice president William Ruto.
Ruto and the Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta are facing charges of crimes against humanity for their alleged role in ethnic violence in the aftermath of an election in 2007 when 1,200 people were killed.
Kenya backed by many African countries seeks to persuade the ICC’s members to accept an immediate change in the rules of the court providing that the head of states are not forced to attend trials.
The east African country also demands a longer-term amendment in the ICC’s founding treaty, the Rome Statute status banning the prosecution of heads of states.