Statement by Mr. Evgeniy Zagaynov, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, at the Security Council meeting on the Reports of the Secretary-General on the Sudan and South Sudan
June 9, 2016
In recent weeks, we have repeatedly voiced at the Security Council and at the General Assembly our assessment of the activities of International Criminal Court (ICC). They largely have to do with the Darfur investigation.
We have taken note of the twenty-third report of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court on the investigation into the situation in Darfur. We were surprised at the tone used by the Prosecutor in addressing demands to the Security Council for so-called followup to the referral of the situation in Darfur. We expect from the ICC Prosecutor detailed reporting on her work, rather than some sort of assessment of the activities of the Security Council, its authority and positions. We consider it inappropriate to attempt to bring influence to bear on the Council. All this ones again makes one wonder about the point of this kind of dialogue between the Security Council and the ICC.
It should be noted that there is no consensus, even among State parties to the Rome Statute, when it comes to implementing certain arrests warrants issued by the ICC. In a number of cases, the African Union and its members have pointed to contradictions between ICC requirements and their own obligations under international law concerning the immunity senior State officials. We understand the position of African countries on the issue of the ICC. We think it is justified. Unfortunately, as has been demonstrated in practice in recent years, not all members of the Council are ready to heed that position. Our delegation was interested in the initiative to establish a special ministerial committee of the African Union to address the concerns of African countries with regard to the ICC. We also supported the idea of convening a dialogue between the Security Council and representatives of such a committee. We hope there will soon be such a meeting in New York.
We would like to comment on some facts and figures included in the Prosecutor’s report. We call attention to unverified information about the number of civilian victims and displaced persons in Darfur. Those findings have not been corroborated by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The report essentially relays to the Security Council assertions from Radio Dabanga. Based in The Hague, the station is known, among other things, for blatantly spreading misinformation and for its connections with the Sudanese armed opposition. As it is known, there is currently an operation under way in Darfur against the Sudan Liberation Army. That group stubbornly refuses to engage in negotiations with Khartoum. Those insurgents have rejected the moratorium on military operations and have attacked both Government forces and civilian targets and civilians themselves. The militias in Darfur have also adopted a destructive position. In particular, they have refused to sign the African Union road map — a peace plan backed by the Secretary-General and the Chair of the African Union Commission.
Experts of the Security Council sanctions committee on the Sudan have confirmed violations of international humanitarian law by Sudanese rebels, including the recruitment of child soldiers. In the report of the Prosecutor information about that and other wrongdoing by the insurgents undermining peace and security in Darfur is conspicuously absent. Such a one-sided assessment by the ICC against the legitimate Government of the Sudan is unlikely to add credibility to impartiality of the ICC.
Finally, speaking not only about the Darfur investigation but more broadly, we would like once again to emphasize the importance of striking a balance between the interests of serving justice and those of achieving lasting peace and stabilizing the situation. Those tasks are of equal importance and require a comprehensive and balanced approach.