Investigators submit Darfur atrocities file
|The Guardian , 16 Juin 2006|
The chief prosecutor at the international criminal court says it has documented the massacre and rape of thousands of civilians in Darfur. Investigators found evidence of ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity in the war-torn Sudanese province, Luis Moreno Ocampo said in a report submitted on Wednesday to the UN security council.
According to witnesses, three ethnic groups - the relatively dark-skinned Fur, Massalit and Zaghawa - have been singled out by forces loyal to the Khartoum government. The report said: "In most of the incidents ... there are eyewitness accounts that the perpetrators made statements reinforcing the targeted nature of the attacks, such as 'We will kill all the black' and 'We will drive you out of this land'."
Tribes in the western province rebelled in 2003, provoking a crackdown by the Sudanese military and a pro-government Arab militia known as the Janjaweed. Two million people have been displaced and more than 180,000 killed. After an investigation last year, the UN security council instructed the international criminal court to prosecute those responsible.
Mr Moreno Ocampo said his investigators had details of thousands of civilian deaths, hundreds of alleged rapes and several massacres. He said the Sudanese authorities had not prosecuted alleged perpetrators, and the ICC had a duty to do so. Investigators would focus on several massacres and then press charges. Khartoum was cooperating with his team, he added.
Sudan's Ambassador to the UN, Elfatih Mohamed Ahmed Erwa, told reporters his country had convicted many people for crimes in Darfur.