Today the International Criminal Court in The Hague issued a warrant for the arrest of the Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, charging him with crimes against humanity and war crimes. More than 300,000 people have died since the outbreak of the conflict in Darfur.
Commenting on this development, Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier issued the following statement today (4 March):
"We respectfully recognize the decision of the International Criminal Court. It is clear that the German Government supports the International Criminal Court (ICC) as an independent organ of international criminal justice. For the ICC ensures that grave crimes do not go unpunished and that justice is done for the victims.
The UN Security Council referred the Darfur case to the International Criminal Court and obligated the Sudanese government to cooperate with the Court.
That is why I call for the Sudan to respect the decision of the International Criminal Court and respond in a level-headed manner. This means abiding by international rules to protect foreign missions and non-governmental organizations.
When I met with my Sudanese counterpart Deng Alor on 12 February, I assured him that the Federal Government would remain committed to working towards peace in the Sudan. Specifically, this includes implementing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and carrying out the elections planned for this year. In February Minister of State Gernot Erler led intensive talks on this subject on my behalf in the Sudan."