Paris, 13 September 2007
Open letter from the worldwide network of ACATs to the Vatican
on the eve of the Pope’s meeting with the President of Sudan
On Friday 14 September, the President of Sudan, Omar Hassan El Beshir, will meet Pope Benedict XVI to discuss the situation in Darfur.
In view of their grave concerns about the human rights situation in this part of the world and having been mobilised since the beginning of the Sudanese conflict, the International Federation of ACATs (FIACAT) and 13 ACATs have sent a letter to the Vatican inviting Pope Benedict XVI “to remind the President of Sudan, Hassan El Beshir, of the urgent need for truth and justice for the victims of the armed conflict in Darfur, and that the Sudanese authorities need to cooperate with the International Criminal Court”.
The ACATs reiterate the fact that the “Sudanese authorities suspended all co-operation with the ICC in March 2007” and “refuse to arrest and hand over to the ICC Messieurs Ahmad Muhammad Harum and Ali Muhammad Al Abd Al Rahman, for whom arrest warrants were issued in May 2007 for crimes committed in western Darfur in August 2003 and March 2004”. The letter emphasises that under the terms of Resolution 1593 of the United Nations Security Council, Sudan, despite having not yet ratified the Statute of Rome, is bound to co-operate with the ICC and to offer it any assistance required.
The entire ACAT network invites Pope Benedict XVI to offer much needed support to the ICC and its work – as important and the forthcoming deployment of blue berets and the re-opening of peace negotiations – and sincerely hopes that this meeting will convince the Sudanese State to stop hindering the ICC’s work.
 ACAT-Belgium, ACAT-Benin, ACAT-Burkina, ACAT-Cameroon, ACAT-Canada, ACAT-Chad, ACAT-Congo, ACAT-DRC, ACAT-France, ACAT-Italy, ACAT-Luxemburg, ACAT-Senegal, ACAT Switzerland