July 15, 2008 (WASHINGTON) – The US president George Bush threatened the Sudanese government with more sanctions if he does not facilitate the deployment of peacekeepers and flow of aid in Darfur.
- U.S. President George W. Bush holds a press conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House July 15, 2008 in Washington, DC (AFP)
“We’re trying to work with Bashir to make sure he understands that there will be continued sanctions if he doesn’t move forward” Bush told reporters at a press conference in the White House today.
The US president refused to comment on the request submitted by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to the judges for issuance of arrest warrant against the Sudanese president Omar Hassan Al-Bashir on Monday.
“We’re not a member of the ICC, so we’ll see how that plays out” the US president said.
The ICC’s prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo asked pre-trial judges on Monday to issue arrest warrants for Sudan’s head of state.
Ocampo filed 10 charges: three counts of genocide, five of crimes against humanity and two of murder. Judges are expected to take months to study the evidence before deciding whether to order Al-Bashir’s arrest.
Bush said that the US wants to maintain a North South peace agreement and see full deployment of the long due African Union – United Nations troops in Darfur.
He also voiced frustration with the slow peacekeepers deployment.
“There’s the same sense of consternation and the same sense of frustration that things haven’t moved quicker. I talked to Ban Ki-moon about the issue and he told me — I think he told me that by the end of this year a full complement of AU troops will be there” Bush said
“Then the question is, will the government help expedite the delivery of humanitarian aid?” he added.
Bush met privately with his special envoy to Sudan yesterday for the first time since he returned from Khartoum last month.
The meeting was closed to the press but the White House spokesperson Dana Perino told reporters that Bush and Williamson discussed the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the North and South.
The deal also does not cover a separate conflict in the western region of Darfur, where tens of thousands of people have been killed and hundreds of thousands driven from their homes since rebels took up arms in early 2003.