Chad should stand up for justice and not grant impunity to Sudan Defence Minister Hussein

Brussels-Rome, 25 April 2013

 
Sudanese Minister of National Defence Abdel-Rahim Mohammed Hussein is reportedly due to arrive today in the Republic of Chad to attend a two-day conference to evaluate the performance of the joint Sudanese-Chadian border, which is being held in the capital N’Djamena.
Minister Hussein is the subject of an arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly 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. Chad has previously allowed Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is also subject to an ICC arrest warrant for crimes in Darfur, to visit Chad multiple times with total impunity, undermining so 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 Sudanese Defence Minister Abdel-Rahim Mohammed Hussein if he enters the Chadian territory. In defiance of its international obligations Chad has already allowed Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to visit multiple times with total impunity. Chad must stop knowingly and willingly harbouring fugitives from the Court and restore the credibility of its commitment to justice and accountability. Hosting Minister Hussein and sweeping once again under the carpet an arrest warrant issued by the ICC would be a further insult for the victims of the crimes for which, together with President al- Bashir, he allegedly bears the greatest responsibility.
 
“Sudan's own history demonstrates that granting impunity for serious crimes only encourages those crimes to continue. The prosecution of all persons against whom arrest warrants have been issued in the situation in Sudan is imperative, as it also responds to the essential interest of victims. All States and particularly ICC States Parties must send a strong and consistent signal to this end, including by refusing to host alleged war criminals on their territories.
 
“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. The people of Sudan and Darfur deserve a chance at lasting peace, which in return strongly requires impartial and effective justice. We urge Chad to clearly demonstrate that its stand on the side of victims of human rights violations, not their alleged perpetrators.”
 

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