An editorial in today's LeMonde raises important questions about the Darfur case unfolding at the International Criminal Court. Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo has named a colleague of Sudan's President and a leader of the Janjaweed militia as suspects in atrocities that have led to the deaths of 200,000 and displacement of another 2.5 million persons. The aim is to bring the most culpable to justice, and so to bring an end to the violence. "This will not be an easy thing," LeMonde writes. "Up to now ICC investigators have not worked in Darfur, where the security of their witnesses cannot be assured." It recalls too that an ICC investigation begun at the request of Uganda now is hampered by moves toward a peace pact entailing amnesty. LeMonde ends by casting blame, asking whether the United States gives cooperation with Sudan in its campaign against terrorism a higher priority than bringing peace in Darfur.
The editorial fails to find fault everywhere it is due. No permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, which authorized the ICC investigation fully 2 years ago, puts solving Darfur at the top of its foreign policy agenda. A mix of national self-interests has the international community at an impasse, despite Darfurians dire and highly publicized suffering. Solving Darfur requires concerted use of many resources. No court should be made to take on the problem all on its own.