August 25, 2008 (WASHINGTON) – The “Omdas” (leaders) at a Darfur refugee camp in Chad gave their strong backing to the indictment of the Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir by the International Criminal Court (ICC) last month.
- ICC former Registrar, Mr Bruno Cathala meeting with Darfur refugees at the Farchana camp in Chad (ICC Website)
“We support the decision of the International Court’s prosecutor, Ocampo” chiefs at the Goz-Amir camp said in a letter sent to the ICC earlier this month.
The ICC’s prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo announced in mid-July that he requested an arrest warrant for Al-Bashir.
Ocampo filed 10 charges: three counts of genocide, five of crimes against humanity and two of murder and accused Al-Bashir of masterminding a campaign to get rid of the African tribes in Darfur; Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa.
The letter obtained by Sudan Tribune was signed by six of the camp’s leaders who called for the “immediate” arrest of Al-Bashir.
“Any delay in arresting Al-Bashir will cause more acts of genocide, ethnic cleansing and rape” they said in the letter.
The camp chiefs also deplored requests by the Arab League and African Union to freeze Al-Bashir’s indictment.
“We, the refugees and displaced persons, reject the demands of the African Union and the Arab League, who are traitors to the Darfur people” they said.
The letter also outlined a number of other requests from the international community that includes disarming the Janjaweed militias, deploying international peacekeepers to replace African troops, expelling foreign population who settled in their lands and compensation.
The Darfur displaced leaders called for the establishment of secondary schools in the camps.
“We need secondary schools. Our children are only given schooling up to 8th grade. If they are uneducated this means there will be more war in the future”.
Goz Amir Camp in Eastern Chad is the home for around 19,000 Sudanese refugees who fled violence in the neighboring Darfur region.
UN experts estimate some 300,000 people have died and 2.5 million driven from their homes. Sudan blames the Western media for exaggerating the conflict and puts the death toll at 10,000.