Saturday, September 13, 2008

Court probing deadly Darfur camp attack

By MIKE CORDER

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Prosecutors at the International Criminal Court may add a deadly attack by Sudanese troops on a Darfur refugee camp last month to a list of war crimes allegations against President Omar al-Bashir.

In an interview Friday, chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo told The Associated Press he was checking into reports of the Aug. 25 attack by Sudanese troops on Kalma camp in southern Darfur.

A camp resident told The AP after the attack that he counted 32 bodies, including women and children.

At the time, Sudanese officials said the soldiers were caught in a fire fight while looking for weapons in the camp. They put the death toll at 12, including five troops.

"The Kalma camp attack had to be highlighted because it's a case in which allegations are that al-Bashir forces killed civilians directly in the camp," Moreno-Ocampo said.

In July, Moreno-Ocampo asked judges to issue an arrest warrant for al-Bashir on genocide charges for allegedly leading a five-year campaign of murder and rape against civilians in Darfur. Judges are expected to take several months before responding.

In evidence supporting the genocide case against al-Bashir, "we submit that attacking civilians in camps is normally through rapes outside the camps — through more indirect ways," Moreno-Ocampo said. "This is a very direct attack against civilians. ... We try to check if this is a new policy or just an isolated event without authorization." Read more >>>>>>

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