Darfur crimes continue and Sudan still not cooperating with ICC – Prosecutor

4 December 2009Indiscriminate bombings, rape and other crimes are continuing in Darfur, the Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (ICC) said today, while noting that the Government of Sudan still refuses to cooperate with his office and its indicted President and other suspects remain at large. The ICC, which is based in The Hague, issued an arrest warrant for President Omar Al-Bashir in March for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Darfur, where estimated 300,000 people have died since 2003 due to fighting between Government forces and allied Arab militiamen, known as the Janjaweed.Soon after the warrant was issued the Government expelled 13 international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and revoked the permits of three local groups, dealing a blow to humanitarian efforts in the region.Briefing the Security Council on the latest developments, ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said that attacks against civilians in Darfur are continuing. In an incident on 25 November, militia reportedly attacked two villages in North Darfur, where they captured civilians, beat villagers and looted property.“President Al-Bashir, instead of stopping the crimes, is stopping the information about the crimes,” he told the Council.“The decisions to expel humanitarian workers and silence others by threats of expulsion, or the attempts at restricting the freedom of movement of UNAMID [joint UN-African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur] are part and parcel of this policy to reduce the monitoring capacity of the international community.”In his recent report on UNAMID, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highlighted the impediments put by the Sudanese Government on the movement of peacekeepers which continue to hamper their ability to stabilize the situation in Darfur.Mr. Moreno-Ocampo said that efforts in recent months have focused on encouraging Sudan to respect its responsibilities as a UN Member State and to put an end to crimes and arrest people indicted by the Court. He noted that Mr. Al-Bashir has been unable to travel to certain States where he may be arrested. “This process of marginalization of indicted criminals, if maintained steadfastly, is a way towards the ultimate implementation of the arrest warrants issued by the Court.“Respect for the Court decision to issue an arrest warrant against President Al-Bashir sends a clear message: President Al-Bashir will face justice. Any leader committing crimes will face justice. Power does not provide immunity,” he added. The Prosecutor also stressed that he needs the Security Council’s full support to ensure that the attention remains on the need to arrest the indicted suspects and to end crimes in Darfur.Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Mr. Moreno-Ocampo said, “President Al-Bashir is not managing one Kalashnikov. He manages an entire State to commit the crimes. So he uses some people to attack the civilians. He uses other people to finance and uses other people to cover up the crimes. Any of those who are voluntarily making a contribution to these crimes could be criminally responsible.”The Prosecutor also stressed that he needs the Security Council’s full support to ensure that the attention remains on the need to arrest the indicted suspects and to end crimes in Darfur. read more

Arrest made in murder of Alberta girl father

(Updated) It was an outcome no one wanted to hear: an abducted two year old girl found dead in Alberta. Derek James Saretzky, 22, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and is also charged with one count of committing an indignity to a human body.Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette was abducted from her home early Monday in Blairmore, Alberta, about 220 km southwest of Calgary near the boundary with BC.Hailey was the subject of an amber alert, which was cancelled last night when police found human remains in a rural area near Blairmore. Crowsnest Pass mayor Blair Painter delivered his condolences. “This is obviously not the outcome that our community was hoping for. This is going to devastate our community.”“It’s going to take us a long time to heal from this. I really don’t know what else it say, it’s just heartbreaking, devastating news to hear this.”Hailey’s father Terry Blanchette, 27, was found dead in their home on Monday. Police say Saretzky was an acquaintance of Hailey’s mother Terry Blanchette, but they won’t confirm how they knew each other. Local media reported they were romantically involved.Additional video: Noon News coverage of a media conference held by the RCMP: (Courtesy CBC) read more

Fox network sports channels go dark for Dish customers

NEW YORK — Fox’s cable sports networks and some local Fox stations have gone dark for customers of satellite TV provider Dish because of a dispute over the networks’ cost.Dish says the broadcast network was pulled in 17 markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston. Fox News remains on Dish.Customers of the Sling streaming service are also affected.These types of blackouts have become increasingly common as broadcasters seek to charge cable and satellite TV providers more. Those costs eventually show up on customers’ bills.Dish is offering affected customers antennas for the Fox network. It’s also recommending the Locast streaming service. Those won’t work for cable. It suggests watching NFL games using the TV antenna or the NFL app for mobile.The Associated Press read more