Arusha, April 2,  2013 (FH) – The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, today called for the arrest of suspects wanted by the Court, including Sudanese President Omar al Bashir.

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The call came in a message to mark the start of genocide awareness month this April. 

The ICC issued its first arrest warrant for genocide in 2010 against Bashir. He is accused of killing and inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about the destruction of the  Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups in Darfur.

“Unfortunately for the victims in Darfur, their suffering continues because of lack of implementation of the arrest warrant,” Bensouda said. “This April marks genocide awareness month and I call on all States, whether parties to the Rome Statute or not, to cooperate with the ICC in seeking/pursuing accountability for genocide. As we observe a moment of silence for past genocides, we must not forget victims of the Darfur genocide.”

The International Criminal Court has a mandate to prosecute genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed anywhere in the world.  The Office of the Prosecutor is currently investigating and prosecuting such crimes in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, the Darfur region of Sudan, Kenya, Libya, Ivory Coast and Mali. It is also conducting preliminary examinations in Colombia, Georgia, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Honduras, Guinea and South Korea.