NPWJ urges Chad to stand up for justice and not grant impunity to President al-Bashir

15 Feb, 2013 | Press Releases

Brussels-Rome, 15 February 2013

President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan is reportedly due to travel today to the Republic of Chad to attend the Community of Sahel-Saharan (CEN-SAD), upon an official invitation received from the head of state Idriss Deby Itno. 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 Alison Smith, Legal Counsel 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 while he remains on Chadian territory. This is the third time President al-Bashir is visiting Chad while he is subject to an ICC arrest warrant: Chad must stop knowingly and willingly harbouring fugitives from the Court in defiance of its international obligations 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.

“We also call on the ICC itself and all of its States Parties to speak out strongly against Chad’s ongoing embrace of President al-Bashir and to use all possible channels to press the Chadian Government to execute the arrest warrant before he leaves the country. The ICC depends on cooperation of its States Parties to implement its decisions. It must show that when States fail to support it as they should, the Court will respond promptly with every tool in its possession. The Court and States Parties, as well as UN Security Council, since Council referred the Darfur situation to the ICC in the first place, should to be prepared to take all appropriate measures, if necessary.

“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 stand up for justice and stand up for the victims in Darfur by removing from the equation one of the actors who has been most responsible for the decades of instability it has endured.”

For further information, contact Alison Smith on or +32-2-548-3912 or Nicola or +32-2-548-3915.