The Security Council is determined to ensure there is no impunity for anyone
who has committed war crimes or crimes against humanity in Sudan's Darfur
region, its President for February said today as he announced that the
situation in Africa's largest country will be the focus of at least two
Council meetings this month.
.Ambassador Joel W. Adechi of Benin, which holds the rotating presidency for
this month, told reporters at a briefing that the 15-member body wants to
deal with the situation in an "internationally recognized way."
.The panel also concluded that rebel forces in Darfur were responsible for
possible war crimes, including murder of civilians and pillage, and
recommended that the Council refer its dossier on the crimes to the
International Criminal Court (ICC). Tens of thousands of people have been
killed and up to 1.85 million others are internally displaced or have fled
to neighbouring Chad since the conflict flared in early 2003.
Speaking to reporters today at UN Headquarters, Secretary-General Kofi Annan
reiterated his support for the ICC option and for quick and decisive action
by the Council. He also stressed that sanctions against the Khartoum
Government must remain on the table.
.The Council will hold at least two meetings and possibly a third on Sudan
this month, focusing on both the situation in Darfur - where violent clashes
have been reported this week.
Jan Pronk, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Sudan, will
brief the Council this Friday and again at a separate meeting next Tuesday
on the proposal for the peace-support mission. Sudanese Vice-President Ali
Osman Mohamed Taha and John Garang, leader of the rebel Sudan People's
Liberation Army (SPLA), may brief the second meeting, along with
representatives of the African Union.
Mr. Adechi said Council members could hold a third meeting on Sudan, this
time focusing on the contents of the genocide inquiry report, as early as
late next week.