Yesterday in New York, United to End Genocide and the Coalition for the International Criminal Court hosted an event recognizing the work of the International Criminal Court’s Chief Prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, to pursue justice in Sudan.
In remarks given at the event, Ocampo stated that Sudanese President Omar al Bashir — wanted by the ICC for crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide — is now using starvation, rape and fear as “the new weapons of the genocide” to further target the people of Darfur.
In order to expedite his arrest, the prosecutor called for the international community to cut off aid to countries that assist Bashir, including those nations that enable him to travel abroad. He encouraged the audience of over 100 not forget that the genocide in Darfur is still ongoing, even though the international community no longer chooses to make it a focus.
The event coincided with Ocampo’s final briefing on the court’s work in Darfur, which took place today at the United Nations Security Council. Ocampo’s nine year term concludes next week on June 15th when the current Deputy Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda will be sworn in as chief prosecutor.
Ahead of the event, 41 members of the Sudanese Diaspora signed a letter to the United Nations Security Council demanding justice for atrocities committed in Sudan and expressing support for the ICC. There was also a significant Diaspora presence at the event and Ocampo was presented with a certificate of appreciation by representatives from communities in Sudan.
In addition to Ocampo and Bensouda, several high level officials spoke yesterday, including William R. Pace, Convener of the Coalition for the ICC; Richard Dicker, Director of the Human Rights Watch’s International Justice Program; Mohammed Ahmed Eisa, M.D., Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award Laureate and member of the Darfuri Diaspora; Ambassador Tiina Intelmann, President of the ICC Assembly of the States Parties; and Ambassador Steven Rapp, U.S. Ambassador-at-large for Global Criminal Justice.