THE HAGUE, Netherlands – THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The International Criminal Court prosecutor wants judges to report Sudan to the U.N. Security Council for refusing to hand over a government minister and a militia leader accused of atrocities in Darfur.
Luis Moreno Ocampo said in a written request to the court's judges publicized Thursday that Sudan is refusing to arrest Humanitarian Affairs Minister Ahmed Harun and Janjaweed militia leader Ali Kushayb.
The court ordered the men arrested in 2007 on 51 charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes.
It is unclear what effect — if any — the request will have on Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. He also is wanted by the court for allegedly ordering atrocities in Darfur and has repeatedly refused any cooperation.
Moreno Ocampo said that Al-Bashir's regime "continues to commit crimes, promotes and protects the persons sought by the Court, and harasses all persons who are considered to be in favor of justice."
Announcing the charges in 2007, Moreno Ocampo said Harun and Kushayb persecuted civilians in Darfur with a campaign of "murder, rape, inhumane acts, cruel treatment, unlawful imprisonment, pillaging, forcible transfer and destruction of property."
Sudan is not a member of the permanent war crimes tribunal and refuses to recognize its jurisdiction.
The court's Darfur investigation — which led to arrest warrants for Harun, Kushayb and Al-Bashir — was prompted by a request from the Security Council and Moreno Ocampo says Khartoum has a "binding legal obligation" underpinned by a Security Council resolution to cooperate with the court.
A conflict between rebels and Al-Bashir's government erupted in Darfur in 2003. Since then an estimated 300,000 people died of violence, disease and displacement.
Earlier this month, Sudan held its first multiparty elections in more than 20 years but the vote was marred by allegations of fraud and boycotts.