The Darfur Consortium

. . .

The situation in Darfur and the International Criminal Court

Recommendations at the 4th Session of the Assembly of States Parties

Since April 2003, conflict has raged in Darfur, Sudan in which it is estimated that over 400,000 people have died and over two and a half million have been forced from their homes. Deliberate targeting of civilians and the wholesale destruction of settlements has been a hallmark of the violence, which it has been alleged is disproportionately directed against particular ethnic and tribal groupings. In March 2005, further to the report of a United Nations Commission of Inquiry, the UN Security Council referred the situation in Darfur to the International Criminal Court (ICC). Subsequently on the 6 th of June the ICC Prosecutor announced that “ the statutory requirements for initiating an investigation [had been] satisfied.”

The context within which the ICC investigation is now unfolding is critical to ensuring that the ICC effectively contributes to combating impunity and halting the ongoing violence in Darfur. The Darfur Consortium and the undersigned non-governmental organisations concerned with the situation in Darfur respectfully urge the following:

I. The Prosecutor and Registrar of the ICC must visit Sudan and meet publicly with representatives of the Government of Sudan and civil society: The unique nature of the Darfur situation investigation, triggered by the UN Security Council referral and operating in an environment where there is at once huge expectation, apprehension and misunderstanding about the mandate of the ICC, demands direct and public engagement by senior officers of the Court. The functions and limitations of the Court, and the expected scope and conduct of the investigation in Darfur must be communicated clearly and transparently.

II. The Assembly of State Parties must provide sufficient resources to permit the Court to conduct a strategic communication and outreach campaign in Darfur and Sudan, bolstered by a strong field presence dedicated to public engagement: A sustained information effort by the Court in Sudan is essential in order to clarify the mandate of the ICC investigation in Sudan, rectify misconceptions, manage expectations and describe its relationship to the range of broader accountability and reconciliation efforts which are necessary to achieve justice for Darfur. In addition to fostering an accurate public understanding of the work of the Court, transparency of the process will contribute to the security of victims, witnesses and other interlocutors during the investigative and trial periods.

III. Members of the United Nations must urge the Government of Sudan to cooperate fully with the work of the Court as required by the UN Security Council: Sudan is a signatory to the Rome Statute in addition to being a party to a number of international treaties which require the establishment of processes for investigating and prosecuting serious international crimes. Every effort must be made to ensure that ICC staff is able to enter and operate effectively in Sudan. In addition to encouraging practical cooperation with the Court, States should also urge Sudan to ratify and implement the Rome Statute.

IV. State parties to the Rome Statute which are members of the African Union must support the engagement of the AU with efforts for justice, peace and reconciliation in Darfur: Security Council Resolution 1593 specifically recognises the important role which the African Union (AU) is playing in Darfur, inviting the Court and the AU to discuss “practical arrangements” that would facilitate the work of the Prosecutor and of the Court, “including the possibility of conducting proceedings in the region, which would contribute to regional efforts in the fight against impunity.” No investigation of serious crimes can proceed without security on the ground. Investigation teams must be able to move freely, systems must be set up to ensure the security of witnesses and protection of key forensic evidence. We welcome the news that a cooperation agreement between the AU and the ICC has been negotiated and echo the calls of the Nigeria on behalf of African State parties to the Rome Statute in the General Assembly for it to be signed “as a matter of urgency.”


The Darfur Consortium
Action Professionals Association for the People (Ethiopia)
Citizens for Global Solutions
Human Rights First
Human Rights Network Uganda
No Peace Without Justice
Recherches et Documentation Juridiques Africaines
Sudan Organisation Against Torture
Léon Kyaboba Kasobwa, Avocat

Contact information at The Hague (30 November – 3 December):
Adwoa Kufuor, Sudan Organisation Against Torture (SOAT), Tel. +44 781 3186867
John Stompor, Human Rights First, Tel. +1 646 491 3653

The Darfur Consortium is a coalition of more than thirty Africa-based and Africa-focused NGOs dedicated to working together to promote a just, peaceful and sustainable end to the ongoing humanitarian and human rights crisis in Darfur.


African Voices


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Sudanese Voices


Action Professionals Association for the People

Aegis Trust Rwanda

African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies

African Center for Development

African Center for Justice and Peace Studies

Africa Internally Displaced Persons Voice (Africa IDP Voice)

African Security Dialogue and Research (ASDR)

African Women's Development and Communications Network (FEMNET)

The Ahueni Foundation

Alliances for Africa

Amman Centre for Human Rights Studies

Andalus Institute for Tolerance

Anti-Slavery International

Arab Coalition for Darfur

Arab Program for Human Rights Activists

Association Africaine de Defense des Droits de l'Homme (ASADHO)

Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies

Centre for Minority Rights Development (CEMIRIDE)

Centre for Research Education and Development of Freedom of Expression and Associated Rights (CREDO)

Citizens for Global Solutions

Conscience International

Conseil National Pour les Libertés en Tunisie

Darfur Alert Coalition (DAC)

Darfur Centre for Human Rights and Development

Darfur Leaders Network (DLN)

Darfur Reconciliation and Development Organization (DRDO)

Darfur Relief and Documentation Centre

East Africa Law Society

Egyptian Organization for Human Rights

Femmes Africa Solidarité

La Fédération Internationale des Droits de l'Homme (FIDH)

Forum of African Affairs (FOAA)

Human Rights First

Human Rights Institute of South Africa (HURISA)

Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa

Institute for Security Studies

Inter-African Union for Human Rights (UIDH)


International Commission of Jurists (ICJ Kenya)

International Refugee Rights Initiative

Justice Africa

Justice and Peace Commission

Lawyers for Human Rights

Lebanese Association for Democratic Elections

Legal Resources Consortium-Nigeria

Ligue Tunisienne des Droits de l'Homme

Makumira University College, Tumaini University

Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)

Minority Rights Group

National Association of Seadogs

Never Again International

Open Society Justice Initiative

Pan-African Movement

Rencontre Africaine Pour la Defense des Droits de l'Homme (RADDHO)

Sierra Leone STAND Chapter

Sisters' Arabic Forum for Human Rights (SAF)

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP)

Sudan Organization Against Torture (SOAT)

Syrian Organization for Human Rights

Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC)

Universal Human Rights Network


Women Initiative Nigeria (WIN)

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