Home | News    Monday 4 August 2008

Sudan confident China, Russia to block Al-Bashir indictment

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August 3, 2008 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese government expressed confidence that China and Russia will step in to block any decision by the judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to issue an arrest warrant for Sudanese president Omar Hassan.

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Al-Samani al-Wasila (AFP)

“It is expected that the positions of China and Russia as it always has been supportive of righteousness and not a compliment to Sudan based on true facts and documents” Sudan’s minister Foreign Affairs in charge Al-Samani al-Wasila told the pro-government Al-Rayaam.

Al-Wasila said that the UN Security Council (UNSC) “will not set a precedent of prosecuting a sitting head of state”.

The ICC’s prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo asked pre-trial judges in mid-July to issue arrest warrants for Al-Bashir.

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.

But the African Union, Arab League, Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) called for invoking Article 16 which allows the UNSC to suspend the ICC prosecutions in any case for a period of 12 months that can be renewed indefinitely.

A Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Friday expressed concern over the "possible negative turn of events in Sudan" after the request filed with the ICC pre-trial chamber by the prosecutor.

Last week China’s UN envoy Wang Guangya hinted that they may very soon introduce a resolution on deferring ICC indictment of Al-Bashir.

“China supports the reasonable request by the African Union and other organizations for the Council to take early action to suspend the indictment of the Sudanese leader by the ICC, in accordance with the relevant provisions” he added.

But any such resolution introduced appears to have little chances of surviving a vote in the UNSC particularly with the veto wielding members such as US, UK and France opposing it.

The Sudanese diplomat accused France of “backstabbing” and pushing the ICC prosecutor behind the scene to indict Al-Bashir.

“We were waiting for them [French] a positive initiative to help resolve the crisis when they were actually helping Ocampo” he said.

Last month Sudan foreign minister Deng Alor disclosed that he submitted British and French proposal to Al-Bashir in connection with ways to break the impasse over the ICC indictment.

The details of the proposal were not known but Al-Wasila said that they included issues relating to authorizing night flights for the joint UN-African Union (AU) force in Darfur (UNAMID). He also said it asked Sudan to resolve the dispute with the South over the oil rich region of Abyei.

He also said that the French and British asked them to extradite the two Darfur war crimes suspects Ahmed Haroun, state minister for humanitarian affairs, and militia commander Ali Mohamed Ali Abdel-Rahman, also know as Ali Kushayb.

Al-Wasila also denied that Al-Bashir has any problems travelling abroad on missions for fear of being arrested.

Last week Al-Bashir abruptly canceled a scheduled trip to Zambia which was hosting the Smart Partnership programme for developing nations.

The Sudanese president is expected in Turkey later this month to participate in the Turkey-AU summit but Al-Wasila refused to confirm if he will indeed travel.

Turkey is not a party to the ICC and unless the judges issue an arrest warrant for Al-Bashir he is not in risk of being arrested.

The Senegalese president Abdoulaye Wade told his Sudanese counterpart during a phone conversation that he will not be able to offer him refuge if there is an arrest warrant for him.

Wade speaking from Chicago told Senegal News Agency (APS) that he informed Al-Bashir that they are party to the ICC and they cannot “make an exception”.

Sudan has not ratified the Rome Statue, but the UNSC triggered the provisions under the Statue that enables it to refer situations in non-State parties to the world court if it deems that it is a threat to international peace and security.

(ST)

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  • 4 August 2008 09:44, by Ben-Fu

    Saddam use to be this way, using flattery as if to impress his dead mama. Wasila, Taha, Harun are itching with guilts.

    repondre message

  • 4 August 2008 10:47, by biarawieu

    No no they will not gonna do that, otherwise China bashir, Russia bashir, al-bashir himself and others people who are involved in the crimed must to be given arrest warrant immedially before they do thing worst. By Biar M Bul

    repondre message

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