Saturday, August 30, 2008

Peace in Sudan as important as justice - UN's Ban

By Louis Charbonneau

UNITED NATIONS, Aug 28 (Reuters) - It is important that victims of any war crimes in Darfur get justice but peace is equally crucial for the remote part of western Sudan, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Thursday.

Last month, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno-Ocampo, asked the court's judges to issue an arrest warrant for President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for war crimes committed in Darfur.

Moreno-Ocampo accused the Sudanese leader of orchestrating a campaign of genocide beginning in 2003 that had killed 35,000 people outright and at least another 100,000 through starvation and disease, with another 2.5 million forced from their homes.

In a bleak new report on the joint U.N.-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur, known as UNAMID, Ban said it was important to seek justice for any crimes committed in Sudan but made it clear that justice was not the only top priority.

"The international community also has the responsibility to seek agreement on the equal importance of peace and justice in trying to meet the needs of the people in Darfur," Ban said in the report. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>

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