Chad: Hosting once again President al-Bashir would be a further insult to the victims of Darfur

Brussels-Rome, 8 April 2013

 
President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan is reportedly due to travel tomorrow to the Republic of Chad to attend the Greenbelt Conference of the Community of Sahel-Saharan State, which was originally scheduled to be held on March 18 and then postponed to April amid diplomatic and public outcry over Bashir's anticipated visit.
President al-Bashir is the subject of an arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed against the civilian population in Darfur. As a State Party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Chad is obliged to arrest any person against whom the Court has issued an arrest warrant. No Peace Without Justice, together with other human rights groups, strongly criticized al-Bashir’s previous visits with total impunity to Chad in 2010 and 2011, which significantly undermined the credibility of the country's commitment to justice for victims of mass atrocities in Darfur and globally.
 
Statement by Niccolo’ Figa-Talamanca, Secretary General of No Peace Without Justice:

“No Peace Without Justice and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT) call upon the Government of Chad to fulfil its obligations as a State Party of the ICC and arrest President al-Bashir if he enters the Chadian territory. Since the ICC arrest warrant was issued, Chad has allowed al-Bashir to visit multiple times with total impunity, in defiance of its international obligations.

“Chad must stop knowingly and willingly harbouring fugitives from the Court and restore the credibility of its commitment to justice and accountability. Hosting President al-Bashir and sweeping once again under the carpet the arrest warrant issued by the ICC against him would be a further insult for the victims of the crimes for which he allegedly bears the greatest responsibility.
 
“Hundreds of thousands of victims of violence in Darfur now live as refugees in Chad and, according to the latest report by ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to the UN Security Council (UNSC), Darfur's civilian population continues to be targeted by government forces, with the ongoing widespread occurrence of sexual and gender based violence, crimes against human rights defenders, civil society members and community leaders. We urge Chad to clearly demonstrate that its stand on the side of the victims in Darfur by ensuring that one of the actors who has been most responsible for the atrocities they have endured faces justice.”
 

For further information: contact Nicola Giovannini on ngiovannini@npwj.org or +32-2-548-3915.