Norway would like to thank the Prosecutor for today’s briefing; and for her 33rd report, which we have read with great interest. The Prosecutor and the Court can count on Norway’s continued full support.
We commend also the landmark visit you had to Darfur. My colleague, the Norwegian ambassador in Khartoum, greatly appreciated meeting you just a few days ago. And we commend the Sudanese government, and the UN agencies for facilitating this visit.
As we highlighted during the Council meeting on UNITAMS, Norway is highly concerned by the precarious security situation in parts of Darfur. Norway condemns the intercommunal violence, reports of violations of international humanitarian law, and human rights violations and abuses- including sexual and gender-based violence and violence directed towards children. Large-scale displacement of the civilian population also remains of particular concern.
The victims of atrocities in Darfur deserve justice. There will be no lasting peace in Sudan until there is accountability for the crimes that have been committed during the long years of conflict. In this regard, we welcome the confirmation of charges hearing held by the Pre-Trial Chamber of the ICC on May 26 in the case against the Sudanese militia leader Kushayb.
This is a significant step as the first indictment in connection with the atrocities in Darfur- and the first trial based on a referral from the UN Security Council.Norway welcomes the continuous engagement between the Court and Sudan in respect to the case against Mr. Kushayb, and commends Sudanese authorities for facilitating ICC’s investigations in Sudan.
We are encouraged also to learn about the first investigative mission in 14 years.
We hope it sets a precedent for cooperation in the cases against other suspects.
Norway urges the government to transfer the remaining individuals for whom there is an arrest warrant to the ICC. In particular, we echo the Prosecutor’s call for urgently having Mr. Harun transferred to the ICC to be tried in parallel with Mr. Kushayb. Full and unlimited cooperation with the ICC is an important step in the implementation of the Juba Peace Agreement. The Court’s work must not be restricted for political reasons. We also specifically call for Mr. Banda to surrender to the ICC.
Finally, as it is Prosecutor Bensouda’s last briefing of the Council, we would like to express our deepest appreciation for her excellent work over the past 9 years. We thank her for her unwavering commitment and dedication to the ICC.
Your efforts and achievements are truly impressive.