His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco
The Royal Palace
Your Majesty King Mohammed VI,
The Bashir Watch Coalition, a group of international law and human rights organizations dedicated to ending human rights violations and promoting accountability in Sudan, writes to express its concern that the Kingdom of Morocco has invited Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to visit the city of Rabat on 03 August 2017.
Under the authority of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1593, the International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued two arrest warrants for Omar al-Bashir. He is charged with war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. He is alleged to have committed the ongoing atrocities in Darfur, where hundreds of thousands have died since 2003, and millions remain displaced. Thirteen years later, the crimes continue with impunity.
While violence continues in Darfur, it has also spread to other areas of Sudan, including South Kordofan and Blue Nile. The last two years have seen the highest levels of violence and displacement since the height of the genocide more than a decade ago. In the first few weeks of 2016 alone, over 100,000 people were newly displaced by an escalation of violence by the Sudanese government.
On 29 September 2016, Amnesty International reported that at least 30 suspected chemical attacks – killing more than 200 people – had taken place in the Jebel Marra area of Darfur since the beginning of 2016. On the first day of this year, the Sudanese Armed Forces waged a brutal attack in the city of Nertiti, killing 11 and wounding over 70 civilians.
Throughout these attacks, Bashir and his government have continuously blocked humanitarian aid from reaching those in need, and many people are at risk of starvation.
The UNSC Resolution mandates the cooperation of the Sudanese government and all other parties to the conflict in Darfur, and urges all UN Member States, as well as regional and international organizations, to cooperate with the ICC, regardless of whether the government has ratified the ICC treaty.
Excellency, it is worth noting that the tens of thousands of Darfurians have communicated to our coalition their support of the ICC and the execution of the Sudan arrest warrants. As a UN Member State, the Kingdom of Morocco should act to bring Bashir to justice. The Bashir Watch Coalition urges your government to stand for justice for the people of Sudan and refuse to allow an individual charged with genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity into its territory. If Bashir enters the Kingdom of Morocco, this Coalition calls on the Moroccan authorities to respect both the rule of law and their legal obligations to arrest and surrender Bashir to the ICC’s custody to fairly face the charges against him. Failing this, we ask that Kingdom of Morocco to rescind its invitation to President Bashir immediately.
Thank you on behalf of the Bashir Watch Coalition,
The Coalition of the International Criminal Court, NY, USA
Darfur Women Action Group, DC, USA
The International Justice Project, NJ, USA
Waging Peace, London, UK