On 31 March 2005, the United Nations Security Council (“UNSC” or “Council”) adopted Resolution 1593 (“UNSCR 1593”), referring the situation in Darfur since 1 July 2002 to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (“ICC” or “Court”).
The Council invited the Prosecutor to address it every six months on actions taken pursuant to UNSCR 1593.
This is the thirty-first report to the Council on the activities of the Office of the Prosecutor (“OTP” or “Office”).
2. RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN SUDAN
Despite the global disruption caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Republic of the Sudan (“Sudan”) continues to make progress in ongoing discussions regarding justice for the victims of the Darfur conflict. In particular, accountability for crimes in Darfur remains a central issue in the peace negotiations between the Government of Sudan and rebel groups in Juba, South Sudan.
On 11 February 2020, spokesman for the Government of Sudan, Muhammad Hassan Al-Ta’ishi, reportedly announced that an agreement had been reached with rebel groups that justice in Darfur required the “appearance of those against whom arrest warrants were issued by the ICC.” Al-Ta’ishi also announced an agreement to create a Darfur special court. Following this announcement, similar statements in relation to the appearance of the Darfur suspects before the ICC were purportedly made by other members of the Sovereign Council. The Office is encouraged by these public statements by Sudanese officials indicating a commitment to cooperate with the Court. They represent an important step on the road to accountability in the Darfur situation