Home | News    Friday 1 April 2005

Sudan says Darfur resolution "unfair, ill-advised"

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KHARTOUM, April 1 (Reuters) - Sudan on Friday said the U.N. Security Council was undermining efforts to make peace in the remote Darfur region by voting to send those accused of Darfur war crimes to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

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Najeeb Abdul Wahab

"I believe it is unfair, ill-advised and narrow-minded," state minister for foreign affairs, Najeeb al-Kheir Abdul Wahab, told Reuters. "It undermines the government’s quest for justice in Darfur through reconciliation."

The U.N. Security Council late on Thursday voted 11-0 with 4 abstentions to refer a sealed list of 51 accused of crimes against humanity in Darfur to the ICC, after last-minute wrangling to allow exemptions for U.S. citizens. The resolution is the first referral to the ICC by the Council.

Abdul Wahab said the government would nevertheless study the resolution and take "appropriate action" on implementation. He declined to say whether the government rejected or accepted it.

Sudan for the first time earlier this week said it had arrested 15 officials from the military and security forces for crimes including rape, killing civilians and burning villages.

But analysts said it was too little too late for the Security Council, which strengthened an arms embargo on the African nation and imposed a travel ban and assets freeze on those who violate a shaky ceasefire in remote Darfur.

The United Nations says Sudan has done very little to disarm the Arab militias accused of a widespread campaign of rape, killing and burning of non-Arab villages in Darfur during more then two years of rebellion by non-Arab groups.

The rebels say the government discriminates against them in favor of Arab tribes.

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