Darfur crimes could go to international court

LONDON – Amid renewed violence in the troubled Sudanese region of Darfur, the UN has warned of possible war crimes prosecutions. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has called for an end to attacks, and for those responsible to be tried. The UN Security Council has ruled that the International Criminal Court can prosecute human rights violations in Darfur.

In one recent incident, pro-government Arab militias at a refugee camp reportedly killed 34 people. According to the BBC, the attackers are believed to be Janjaweed Arab militiamen, described as criminals by the Sudanese government. The government called it the first direct assault on a refugee camp since the conflict began more than two years ago.

Annan condemned "the attacks of civilians, humanitarian workers and assets and the African Union mission in Sudan."

UN envoy to Sudan Jon Friday added, "The names of the individuals responsible for the attack, when known, will be reported to the Security Council … as well as to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court."

More than 2 million people have been forced from their homes and at least 180,000 have died in the conflict between the government and Darfur rebels. The conflict began in early 2003, after a rebel group began attacking government targets, claiming that the region was being neglected by Khartoum.