Darfur Probe "Overdue," Says Observer

ROME, JUNE 7, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The International Criminal Court’s decision to investigate crimes committed in the Sudanese region of Darfur is necessary and «certainly overdue,» says the founder of the Missionary Service News Agency.

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Father Giulio Albanese commented today on Vatican Radio after the court announced that the preliminary requirements for initiating an investigation into crimes committed in the region in western Sudan since July 2002 have been fulfilled.

The process began in February when the United Nations found the government of Sudan responsible for the crimes of murder of civilians and pillage under international law. The U.N. Security Council referred the matter to the international court in March.

«The investigation will require sustained cooperation from national and international authorities,» International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said in a press release.

Fighting in Darfur flared up in early 2003 after rebels took up arms, partly in protest over the distribution of resources.

The United Nations says some 180,000 people have died as a result of the conflict, while another 1.8 million have been forced from their homes, including about 200,000 who fled to neighboring Chad.

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