International Criminal Court asks UN to investigate itself over allegations of cover ups in Darfur
The lead prosecutor in the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda has asked the United Nations Chief Secretary Ban Ki-moon to carry out a full, thorough investigation into allegations the U.N. deliberately covered up crimes against civilians and peacekeepers in Darfur, Sudan.
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The request comes two months after reporting by Foreign Policy revealed that U.N. Peacekeepers sent to prevent genocide in the Darfur had utterly failed in their duties.
The reports allege that in some circumstances, people the U.N. soldiers were supposed to protect were kidnapped from right in front of them without offering any resistance to the kidnappers. One person alleged that in one incident some U.N. peacekeepers gave the attackers thumbs up signs.
The Foreign Policy reporting also suggested that in addition to failing in their duties to vulnerable Sudanese, the U.N. actively tried to cover up these incidents. The U.N. also tried to cover up incidents where the Sudanese military attacked peacekeepers the government was supposed to be welcoming to its territory.
Foreign Policy reports Bensouda's office is asking nations that belong to both the I.C.C. and the U.N. Security Council to support a measure that would authorize an investigation. Those nations include Australia, Britain, France, Jordan, Luxembourg, and Nigeria.
If the investigation is authorized, it may result in the bringing of war crimes charges against members of the Sudanese military. The I.C.C. has already issued arrest warrants for Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and other high ranking officials for their role in violence in Darfur in the early 2000s that most observers have said qualifies as a genocide.
Bensouda's office also said it was particularly troubled by the fact that public reports about the situation in Sudan were not completely forthright. Bensouda's office also suggested that the international community may not be truly and fully apprised of the situation on the ground.