ICC seeking information on Sudan “atrocities”

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Ongoing hostilities, fighting and deaths in Sudan’s Darfur region have reached a point where the international Criminal Court (ICC) this week launched a campaign to address what it termed “the unfolding crisis” of ongoing war between rival military forces.

For the past 14 months the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) engaged the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) of General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo.

In one of its latest attacks, the RSF reportedly targeted the last working hospital in the Darfur region, where South African troops and equipment were part of a United Nations (UN) mission which became an African Union (AU) one under the codename Operation Cordite in 2004. This was a year before the ICC started investigating what The Hague-based court at the time called the “situation” in the east African country.

Using social media, ICC prosecutor Karim Khan urged victim groups, civil society organisations, national authorities and international partners to contact his office with evidence and material relating to “ongoing atrocities inflicted on civilians”. A statement has it the ICC prosecutor’s office is compiling information from Darfur on a daily basis which “seems to disclose organised, systematic and profound attacks on human dignity”.

Evidence collected to date “seems to show credible, repeated, expanding continuous allegations of attacks against the civilian population, in particular, attacks directed against camps for internally displaced persons.

“It seems to show widespread, prevalent use of rape and other forms of sexual violence.  It seems to disclose consistent shelling of civilian areas, looting properties and attacks against hospitals,” Khan is quoted as saying in the statement.