ICC Prosecutor Ask UN Security Council To Act On Outstanding Arrest Warrants

12 December 2017 – the ICC Prosecutor on Tuesday told the UN Security Council that Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir recently travelled to countries that recognize the International Criminal Court (ICC) but none arrested or surrendered the Sudanese President.

ICC_ Fatou Bensouda
ICC Chief Prosecutor Ms. Fatou Bensouda

ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda told the Security Council in New York and  quoted by the UN News Center said, “I call on this Council to prioritise action on the outstanding warrants of arrest issued by the Court.”

She also said that “there can be no justification for States Parties to fail to arrest a suspect against whom an ICC warrant of arrest has been issued, irrespective of that person’s official status.”

Ms. Bensouda’s briefing comes one day after the Pre-Trial Chamber II decided that Jordan, which is a non-permanent member of the Security Council, was non-compliant when Mr. Al Bashir visited Amman in March. The Chamber agreed to refer the matter to the Assembly of States Parties of the Rome Statute – which established the ICC – and to the Security Council.

“This costly inaction has the potential to undermine the fight against impunity, the effect of which is to lower the bar of accountability that many have fought to raise,” Ms. Bensouda said.

“This continuous nonfeasance only serves to embolden others to invite Mr. A1 Bashir to their territory, safe in the knowledge that there will be no consequences from this Council for such breaches,” she added.

Mr. Al Bashir last week visited Chad, a country which had been referred to the Security Council for non-compliance on this matter in 2011 and 2013.

The Sudanese President also recently visited Russia and Uganda, among other countries.

President Omar al-Bashir-Sudan
President Omar al-Bashir-Sudan

In June 2015, he visited South Africa. While the Chamber established that there was no legal or factual justification for South Africa’s failure to arrest and surrender Mr. Al Bashir, it decided against referring South Africa to the Assembly of States Parties or to the Security Council.

In 2005, the Council asked The Hague-based Court to investigate war crimes in Darfur. ICC judges issued arrest warrants in 2009 for Mr. Al Bashir and other top officials for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in the western Darfur region, where up to 300,000 people may have died and millions have been displaced since civil war erupted in 2003 between the Government and rebels.



UN Security Council Press Statement on Elections in Liberia


The following Security Council press statement was issued Wednesday, November 22, 2017 by Council President Sebastiano Cardi (Italy):

UN Security Council Session
UN Security Council Session

The members of the Security Council congratulated the Liberian people and Government as well as political leaders, civil society organizations, and the media, for the peaceful conduct of October 10 presidential and House of Representative elections. They commended international partners and the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) for their support in elections preparation, and applauded the role of international, regional, and domestic election observation missions for their contributions to the transparency of the electoral process. They also commended Liberia’s National Elections Commission’s conduct of an expeditious tallying process and timely announcement of results.

The members of the Security Council commended the Government of Liberia, political parties, and the National Elections Commission for the use of established legal mechanisms to address complaints over the conduct of the October 10 election. The members of the Security Council called on Liberian claimants and institutions to resolve any disputes, including pending litigation, in an appropriate, fair, transparent, and expeditious manner with a view to permit the timely conclusion of Liberia’s electoral process and a peaceful transition of power to a new President in accordance with timelines outlined in Liberia’s Constitution. The members of the Security Council called upon leaders of all political parties to continue to refrain from incitement of followers toward any violent action.

Liberia tourism destinations
Map of Liberia

The members of the Security Council noted the importance of a credible and peaceful second round presidential election and called upon Liberians to ensure the elections are free, fair, credible, and transparent, including through the full participation of women. The members of the Security Council reiterated that the responsibility for the preparation, security and conduct of free, fair and transparent elections rests with the Liberian authorities. They also reiterated their call on international partners to continue to support the Liberian authorities, including through deployment of international electoral observers, with a view to ensuring the credibility of the second round of elections.