Remarks at a UN Security Council Briefing by the ICC Prosecutor on Sudan

Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis
Acting Alternate Representative for Special Political Affairs
New York, New York
June 9, 2021


Thank you, Mr. President. And thank you, Madam Prosecutor, for your briefing.

Over 16 years ago, the Security Council referred the situation in Sudan to the International Criminal Court. Madam Prosecutor, as this briefing is your last before the Council, the United States would like to express our gratitude to you personally for your commitment to ensuring justice for the victims of atrocities in Darfur in the long fight against impunity. Through moments of despair and hopelessness that justice might not arrive for Sudan, your dedication and perseverance ensured that justice and accountability will now be part of Sudan’s peaceful and democratic future. We hope that you take pride in that enduring legacy of your tenure as Prosecutor, and we wish you well in your future endeavors.

The hearing on the confirmation of charges against Ali Kushayb was a historic moment. The voices and experiences of victims of serious crimes, including victims of sexual violence, were a powerful testament to the necessity of justice and accountability for lasting peace and security.

The United States fully supports the ICC’s investigations in Darfur. We call on the civilian-led transitional government to honor its obligations under the Juba Peace Agreement and UN Security Council Resolution 1593 to cooperate with the ICC. In that regard, the United States has taken – and will continue to take – active steps to encourage the civilian-led transitional government to immediately transfer Ahmed Harun to the Court.

Madam Prosecutor, your briefing today is timely. Just over one month ago, the Security Council met to discuss the latest developments in Sudan. During that meeting, we detailed our concerns about rising intercommunal violence in Darfur and underscored the need for Sudanese authorities, both at the national and local levels, to engage in earnest to address the underlying issues of housing, land, displacement, and property rights that spur so much of the violence.

We know full well the problems that have led to Sudan’s decades of insecurity – including over 300,000 deaths in Darfur since 2003 alone. These include limited, or a complete lack of, access to justice in many parts of the country; gross violations of human rights; the lack of trust between local communities, and those responsible for governing in an accountable, transparent, and equitable manner under the law; and the indifference on the part of the former regime to Sudanese citizens who simply wanted to secure more prosperous futures for their children and families.

Our message today remains the same as it was during the Security Council’s last meeting on Sudan: this body must continue to underscore the need to build lasting peace and security in the country, promote and protect human rights, and hold those responsible for insecurity to account. The civilian-led transitional government in Sudan has the responsibility to protect all people in Sudan and we should be ready to assist in its efforts to ensure civilian protection in Darfur.

The United States supports the ICC’s efforts to shed light on the abuses and atrocities committed against countless Sudanese who deserve justice for these acts. Such accountability is a powerful deterrent against future abuses and makes clear to those who suffered that their pain will not be left unnoticed and unaddressed. Ending the culture of impunity is also an important step in the country’s transitional justice process.

I thank you