Ban says justice must proceed in Darfur's war crimes
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Thursday he respects the decision of the International Criminal Court to issue arrest warrants against rebels responsible for crimes committed in Sudan's Darfur region, dpa reported.
The ICC is seeking the arrest of commanders of rebel groups in Darfur for killings in September 2007 at the Haskanita bases of the African Union mission in Sudan. The ICC prosecutor had already issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for war crimes and genocide committed in Darfur.
Ban said in a statement that he "respects the independence of the court and its judicial process, and stresses the critical importance of full compliance by all parties to the actions of the court."
"The UN peacekeeping operations in Sudan will continue to conduct their important work in an impartial manner, cooperating in good faith with all partners to further the goal of peace and stability in the country," he said. "The UN will also continue its vital humanitarian and development work there."
The ethnic conflict in Sudan pitted Khartoum-backed Arab militias against African rebel groups. It has resulted in more than 300,000 people killed since 2005 and more than 2.5 million refugees.
The UN has been able to deploy fewer than 10,000 military troops of the total of authorized 26,000 troops in Darfur in order to help end the conflict.