Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union, following the ICC prosecutor’s new request for arrest warrants in connection with the situation in Darfur

The European Union has learned of the request by the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court for arrest warrants for three rebel group members allegedly responsible for the fatal attack on African Union soldiers at Haskanita on 29 September 2007. It is now for the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber’s judges to decide on the action to be taken on the prosecutor’s application.

The EU welcomes the ICC prosecutor’s efforts to seek out the perpetrators of attacks on peacekeeping missions and bring them to international justice. It would stress that under the Rome Statute any attack on a peacekeeping operation is a war crime.

The EU would point out that the ICC plays a key role in promoting international justice and would reiterate its full support for the Court. The ICC’s function is to consider all the crimes committed in Darfur, whoever the perpetrators are, in accordance with Security Council Resolution 1593. The EU again calls on the Sudanese government to combat the impunity of the perpetrators of crimes in Darfur and to cooperate with the ICC, particularly in order to enforce the two arrest warrants issued by the Court for Mr Ahmad Harun and Mr Ali Kushayb, in accordance with the international obligations devolving on Sudan under the Security Council Resolution.

The EU reiterates its support for UNAMID, whose members are working for peace in Darfur under particularly difficult conditions. The EU would like to pay special tribute to the African soldiers deployed in that theatre of operations since 2004, as part of AMIS and subsequently UNAMID. It honours the memory of the twelve soldiers from the African Union force who were killed in the attack on their camp at Haskanita.

The Candidate Countries Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Montenegro, Serbia, and the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Armenia and Georgia align themselves with this declaration.

* Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.