ICC prosecutor lashes out at Sudan over government minister

Other News Materials 10 February 2008 12:27 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, expressed anger at the Sudanese government for continuing to protect one of its ministers charged by The Hague-based court in relation to war crimes in Darfur.

Speaking to Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa ahead of a visit to Berlin Sunday, Moreno-Ocampo was particularly critical of the current status of the minister concerned, Ahmed Haroun.

"We investigated for two years. Haroun was the minister involved in attacks on civilians, forcing them into the camps.

"Haroun has not been arrested, and now it is worse as he his minister for humanitarian affairs," Moreno-Ocampo said.

The Sudanese government was not only not cooperating in arresting Haroun as required of a member state of the United Nations but was actively protecting him, he said.

Moreno-Ocampo appealed to the international community to put pressure on Sudan to cooperate in arresting the minister, against whom the ICC issued a warrant in April last year for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

"The world has to stop the crimes in Darfur," he said.

The prosecutor alleged Haroun had been largely responsible for displacing millions of Sudanese from their homes in 2003-04 and was currently engaged in hindering the efforts of the international aid agencies attempting to alleviate their plight.

The Sudanese government was allowing the Janjaweed militias to attack all those trying to leave the refugee camps. "Instead of cooperating with the agencies, they are attacking them," Moreno-Ocampo said.

He put the number of displaced people in the camps in Sudan at 2.5 million, with a further 300,000 in Chad.