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Sudanese president will not cooperate with ICC

Latest update : 2008-08-04

Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir, charged with war crimes in Darfur by the International Criminal Court (ICC), vowed not to cooperate with the legal body. Bashir also said that elections in Sudan would go ahead as expected.

KHARTOUM, Aug 3 (Reuters) - President Omar Hassan al-Bashir
vowed on Sunday that Sudan would never cooperate with the
International Criminal Court, which last month moved to indict
him for genocide and war crimes in Darfur.
 

Speaking to trade union leaders visiting Khartoum from Arab,
African and Asian nations, Bashir criticised Western states and
said the court's move was part of a neo-colonialist agenda to
protect the interests of developed countries.
 

"Our position is firm ... there will be no cooperation with
the so-called International Criminal Court," he said to cheers
from supporters.
 

The court's chief prosecutor has said Bashir's state
apparatus was directly responsible for killing at least 35,000
people in Darfur and the deaths of at least another 100,000
through hunger and disease.
 

 Luis Moreno-Ocampo asked the court for its first arrest
warrant for a sitting head of state.
 

Last year, the court issued two arrest warrants for a junior
cabinet minister and an allied militia leader for war crimes.
Khartoum refused to hand them over and has not tried them in
national courts.
 

Regional powers have criticised the move to indict Bashir,
saying it would threaten a fragile peace process in Sudan which
has suffered civil turmoil since 1955. But rights groups have
hailed it as a blow to impunity.
 

The Non-Aligned Movement, African Union and Arab League have
all expressed support for Bashir, but neighbouring Uganda's
President Yoweri Museveni said on Saturday the AU should take
action to resolve the Darfur problem rather than condemn the
indictment.
 

"The correct position for the AU therefore, should be to
investigate ourselves," he told a news conference.
 

African Union officials have in the past expressed concern
that the ICC's first four cases have all focused on African wars.
 

Bashir said Washington was committing crimes every day in
Iraq and Afghanistan and should be brought to account for the
atom bombs dropped in Japan during World War II.
 

"These colonial superpowers are waging a targeted campaign
against our country," he said.
 

Date created : 2008-08-04

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