The recent spotlight on Joseph Kony, the Ugandan leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army charged by the International Criminal Court (ICC), underscores the outstanding ICC arrest warrants for 11 other suspects of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide related to situations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Uganda, the Sudan, and Libya.
Joseph Kony, Bosco Ntaganda, President Omar al-Bashir and other fugitives are often shielded by powerful supporters and states. The ongoing lack of justice means that most of these fugitives are free to commit more crimes, placing civilians in affected areas at great risk.
The 11 with outstanding International Criminal Court arrest warrants are:
• Democratic Republic of Congo: Bosco Ntaganda whom the ICC has charged with enlisting and conscripting children under 15. The Congolese government is shielding him following his integration into the national army.
• Uganda: Accused Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) leader Joseph Kony and LRA commanders Vincent Otti (presumed dead), Okot Odhiambo, and Dominic Ongwen continue to evade trial after being charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes. They and the fighters they lead continue to move between the Central African Republic, north-eastern DRC and South Sudan and commit crimes.
• Sudan: President Omar al-Bashir has been charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in the Darfur region. He has yet to be arrested despite regularly conducting state visits abroad. Sudanese officials Ahmad Harun and Abdel Raheem Muhammad Hussein and accused “Janjaweed” leader Ali Kushayb are also at large.
• Libya: Saif al Islam Gaddafi and Abdullah al-Senussi are charged with crimes against humanity committed during the crackdown on protesters in Libya. Saif al-Islam was captured on 19 November 2011 but has not yet been surrendered to the ICC.
Abdullah al-Senussi was apprehended in Mauritania on 17 March 2012, but has not yet been handed over to the ICC pending the outcome of consideration of extradition requests from Libya and France and a request from transfer from the ICC.
The UN has a critical role to play by providing political, diplomatic, and logistical support for efforts to arrest individuals named in ICC arrest warrants and to protect civilians in countries where the ICC is investigating crimes.
However, if the UN is to play a constructive role in protecting civilians and supporting the arrest of ICC fugitives, while respecting human rights, it must provide adequate resources particularly to the UN’s peacekeeping missions in the DRC, South Sudan, and for its office in the CAR.
Write to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon telling him that you support Amnesty International’s call for the UN to provide all necessary resources to its peacekeeping missions and other offices in the ICC situation countries to protect civilians and support the arrest and surrender of individuals named in ICC arrest warrants.
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