Sudanese leader not fearful of ICC charges
International Criminal Court charging him with orchestrating a campaign that the U.N. says has killed 300,000 people and driven 2.5 million from their homes in Sudan’s western region.has emerged tarnished but apparently unbowed from the chief prosecutor for the
“This regime is not in crisis,” said Mahjoub Mohammed Saleh, a respected analyst and co-founder of the independent newspaper al-Ayam.
Life flowed normally in the capital one day after prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo asked the Netherlands-based court to issue a warrant for al-Bashir’s arrest. There were no mass protests or any hint of hasty evacuations by foreigners, U.N. officials or aid workers.
The U.N. peacekeeping force in Darfur announced it was temporarily relocating nonessential personnel to neighboring countries, but there were no figures immediately available on how many.
(AP Photo/Abd Raouf)
Sudan’s U.N. envoy, Abdalmahmood Abdalhaleem Mohamad, called the court’s charges a “catastrophe” that will have “disastrous consequences” on peace efforts in Darfur, where a brutal government campaign against rebels and civilians has left as many as 450,000 people dead from disease and violence, and nearly half the region’s population displaced. The Sudanese government says those figures are exaggerated.
“We will never cooperate with the ICC,” Mohamad said, noting that Sudan, like the United States, is not a signatory to the court’s founding treaty. “This is a criminal move that will torpedo the march forward” of the country.
But the charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity leveled at Bashir — the court’s first charges against a sitting head of state — brought cautious applause from human rights activists and outright celebration in some of the sprawling, straw-hut camps found across Darfur, where more than 2.5 million displaced people now live at the mercy of foreign aid.