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Thursday, 10 May 2007
Page: 195


Mr Danby asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs, in writing, on 21 March 2007:

(1)   Is the Government aware that the International Criminal Court has indicted a high-ranking Sudanese interior minister and a Janjaweed militia leader on 51 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur.

(2)   Has the Government held discussions with the United Nations (UN) and the International Criminal Court (ICC) regarding measures that will be taken to indict other Sudanese officials and militia involved in crimes against humanity; if not, why not.

(3)   Has the Government held discussions with the UN regarding that organisation’s attempt to prevent funds from reaching Sudanese officials and militia engaged in war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur ; if not, why not.

(4)   Is the Government aware of allegations that Janjaweed attackers targeted civilians believed to be supporting opposition rebels; if so, has the Government raised this matter with the UN.

(5)   Is the Government aware that Sudan has refused to extradite those indicted to The Hague; if so, has the Government raised this matter with the UN.


Mr Downer (Minister for Foreign Affairs) —The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

(1)   Yes. The Government is aware that the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has requested the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I issue summonses to appear for a former Minister of State for the Interior and an alleged Janjaweed militia leader in respect of 51 counts of alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity.

(2)   In respect of the International Criminal Court, informal discussions have taken place regarding the prospects of further investigations into crimes which may have been committed in Darfur and which may fall within the Court’s jurisdiction. In respect of the United Nations, as the United Nations is not appropriately empowered in respect of these issues, no. It is for the International Criminal Court to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to support charges against additional persons.

(3)   Yes, with United Nations Security Council members. The Government supported, and welcomed, the United Nations Security Council’s adoption of resolutions 1591 (2005) and 1672 (2006) which required all states to impose financial sanctions against persons and entities designated by the Security Council. The Australian Government has implemented these measures.

(4)   Yes. Australian officials have been briefed on the humanitarian and security situation in Darfur by the UN. The Government has made representations on Darfur to the Government of Sudan.

(5)   The Government is aware of media reports of a statement made by the Sudanese President, Omar al-Bashir, that Sudan will not hand over Sudanese citizens for trial and other media reports of a statement by Sudanese Justice Minister, Mohammed Ali al-Mardi, that Sudan has decided to suspend all cooperation with the International Criminal Court. In respect of the United Nations, as the United Nations is not appropriately empowered in respect of these issues, no. The International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor has requested the Pre-Trial Chamber I issue a summons to appear. Should such a summons be issued and not be complied with, the International Criminal Court will consider appropriate next steps.