The Hague, 20 November 2008 - Today ICC Prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, presents evidence to International Criminal Court (ICC) judges against rebel commanders for their alleged responsibility for crimes committed against African Union peacekeepers in Darfur on 29 September 2007. This was the largest in a series of attacks against peacekeepers. A thousand of rebel-led soldiers surrounded and attacked the Haskanita camp in North Darfur, 12 peacekeepers were murdered and 8 injured.
Such acts constitute war crimes under the Rome Statute of the ICC. "I will not let such attacks go unpunished", the Prosecutor said.
Based on evidence collected during the third investigation in Darfur, the Prosecution has concluded there are reasonable grounds to believe that these rebel commanders bear criminal responsibility in relation to three counts of alleged war crimes for murder, intentionally directing attacks against personnel and objects involved in a peacekeeping mission and pillaging.
"They planned, led their troops and directed the attack which killed 12 peacekeepers, severely wounded 8 others, and completely destroyed AMIS facilities and property, directly affecting aid and security for millions of people of Darfur who are in need of protection", the Prosecutor said.
"No one is above the law", noted Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo.
The Darfur situation was referred to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court by Resolution 1593 adopted on 31 March 2005 by the United Nations Security Council. Investigations commenced in June 2005 and the Prosecution has focused on some of the most serious incidents and the individuals who, according to the evidence, bear the greatest responsibility for crimes in Darfur.
The International Criminal Court is an independent, permanent court that investigates and prosecutes persons accused of the most serious crimes of international concern, namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes if national authorities with jurisdiction are unwilling or unable to do so genuinely. The Office of the Prosecutor is currently investigating in four situations: The Democratic Republic of Congo, Northern Uganda, the Darfur region of Sudan, and the Central African Republic, all still engulfed in various degrees of conflict with victims in urgent need of protection.
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