The Multilateralist

Does Sudan need another ICC investigation?

Does Sudan need another ICC investigation?

The Enough Project has just published an analysis of violence in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan regions of Sudan. The report calls for a full U.N. investigation and, ultimately, a U.N. Security Council referral of the situation to the International Criminal Court (the Council referred the Darfur violence to the court back in March 2005):

The international community must do more to investigate the war crimes, crimes against humanity, and torture being perpetrated by Sudanese government forces against their own people. If implemented quickly, a commission of inquiry and the involvement of the International Criminal Court prosecutor could serve as a substantial deterrent force against future violence.

As Erik Voeten discussed yesterday, the claim that international judicial intervention deters atrocities is devilishly difficult to verify. The fact that ICC involvement didn’t end atrocities in Darfur or dissuade Khartoum from launching its bloody offensives in Blue Nile and South Kordofan at least calls into question this new specific deterrence claim. But it certainly doesn’t discredit it. In a talk yesterday here at American University’s School of International Service,  Enough Project co-founder John Prendergast argued convincingly that the bright international spotlight on Darfur (including via the ICC) has in fact mitigated some of the abuses and prevented Khartoum from unleashing its worst. Amped up international scrutiny of Sudan’s other war zones might do the same.