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Sudan asks Arab nations to support its case against the ICC

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July 23, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese government on Saturday has asked the Arab League (AL) to take practical steps to support its stance against the International Criminal Court (ICC) which seeks to arrest President Omer al-Bashir.

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The 27th AL summit is taking place in Nouakchott from 25th to 26th July under the title “Summit of Hope”.

The meeting’s agenda includes discussion of the Syrian civil war, disputes over forming a Joint Arab Force, Israeli withdrawal from occupied Palestinian territories, and reviving the bilateral peace process to establish a Palestinian state.

Sudan’s State Foreign Minister Obied Allah Mohamed told the preparatory meeting of Arab foreign ministers ahead of the summit that his country’s stance against the ICC has gained significant support in regional and international forums.

He pointed to the recent African Union summit which called for collective withdrawal of African countries from the war crimes tribunal.

The ICC issued two arrest warrants against al-Bashir in 2009 and 2010 for alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed in Darfur.

Al-Bashir is the first sitting head of state charged by the Hague based court since its inception in 2002.

Several African governments and the AU have voiced concerns over the ICC’s fairness, and accused it of targeting African leaders.

They further say that war crimes court has violated its founding treaty the Rome Statute, when it prosecutes cases investigated by the national jurisdiction.

The Arab league, in the past, announced its support to the African efforts to suspend Bashir’s indictment at the level of the Security Council.

The Sudanese minister laid out regional and international challenges targeting security, unity, stability and sovereignty of the Arab nations, demanding to speed up the reform process within the AL.

He praised the initiatives launched by the AL and pointed to the initiative for holding the International Arab Conference on Reconstruction and Development in Sudan.

Mohamed also mentioned the Arab food security initiative launched by President al-Bashir during the previous development summit.

He further called on the AL to make efforts to lift the unilateral American sanctions imposed on Sudan, affirming that security and stability have been established in Darfur.

He underscored Sudan’s unlimited support for the Palestinian cause, pointing to the need for joint work to restore stability in Syria, Libya and Yemen and to fight against terrorism and extremism in the region.

The AL has 22 member states as of 2016. It was founded in Cairo in 1945 by the Kingdom of Egypt, Kingdom of Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syrian Republic, Transjordan (Jordan from 1946) and North Yemen (later becoming Yemen).

(ST)

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