Hentet fra the Africa report 21.3.2022
French President Jacques Chirac, left, welcomes his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir at the opening of the 24th Africa-France summit, Thursday Feb.15, 2007 in Cannes (AP Photo/Patrick Kovarik; Pool) Sudanese victims last week provided
Sudanese victims last week provided testimony to the French war crimes unit investigating French bank BNP Paribas’ alleged role in mass atrocities in Sudan between 2002 and 2008, under the regime of President Omar el-Bashir.
Last week in Paris, four Sudanese victims – assisted by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), the Human Rights League of France (LDH) and lawyers from Global Diligence Alliance – provided evidence as civil parties to the French war crimes unit.
It is a part of the ongoing investigation into BNP Paribas’ alleged role in crimes against humanity, genocide, and torture in Sudan between 2002 and 2008.
“BNP Paribas SA has admitted to acting as the primary foreign bank of the Sudanese government between 2002 and 2008,” the FIDH said in a press release. “During this time, the Sudanese government committed widespread mass atrocities against civilians in Darfur and other marginalised Sudanese communities, with the help of its military forces and Janjaweed militias. During this time period, BNP Paribas was considered to be Sudan’s de facto central bank.”
This is not the first time BNP Paribas has been accused of providing financial services to those committing mass atrocities on the continent. Since 2017, three French judges have been investigating the transfer of over $1.3m of funds for the purchase of 80 tonnes of weapons by a Rwandan general who allegedly aided in arming perpetrators of genocide.
The civil parties’ lawyers, Clémence Bectarte and Emmanuel Daoud, say: “An important milestone has been reached […] with the first civil parties heard by the investigating judges and investigators, nearly a year and a half after the judicial investigation was opened.”