ICC chief prosecutor says Darfur atrocities rising

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan, has seen clear indications of atrocities in the Darfur region of Sudan.

In an urgent appeal issued on Tuesday in The Hague, Khan called on international organizations, partners and national authorities to collect evidence and information and hand it over to him.

Every day, he said, his investigators receive information from Darfur that points to what he called an organized, systematic and serious attack on human dignity.

The Hague-based Tribunal has been investigating genocide in Darfur since 2005, when it was mandated to do so by the UN Security Council.

In 2009, the court issued an international arrest warrant for the then president of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, on suspicion of genocide. One focus of the investigation is a massacre in West Darfur in 2023.

Khan cited continued and constant attacks on the civilian population and especially on refugee camps, massive and widespread rape and other types of sexual violence, bombing of residential areas, looting and attacks on hospitals.

The crisis is worsening, the suffering is increasing, the chief prosecutor said. UN experts are already talking about a new genocide.

The background to the new wave of violence is the bloody power struggle between Sudan’s de facto leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his former deputy, now rival, Mohammed Hamdan Daglo.

According to UN figures, it has led to the flight of almost 10 million people. Large parts of the capital Khartoum have been destroyed and fierce fighting is currently taking place, particularly in the province of North Darfur.

Khan said the international community must not allow Darfur to once again become the world’s forgotten atrocity. He called for the collection of photos, videos and audio recordings and for contact with witnesses.

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