Wednesday, December 10, 2008

ICC prosecutor: Sudan leader ‘inciting violence‘

Luis Moreno-Ocampo said President Omar al-Bashir has been "inciting violence" over the court‘s charges by threatening civilians and peacekeepers in the joint U.N.-African Union force.

The prosecutor‘s briefing to the Security Council was his last before the court decides whether to issue a warrant for al-Bashir. There have been no rulings on the warrant yet; a court decision is expected by early next year.

Up to 300,000 people have died and 2.5 million have been forced from their homes in five years of fighting. The ICC last year issued arrest warrants for a Sudanese government minister and for a commander in the government-backed janjaweed militia, which has been blamed for the worst atrocities in Darfur.

The court is not part of the United Nations, but the 107 nations that ratified the 1998 treaty creating it, along with the U.N., are responsible for responding to the ICC‘s requests for cooperation. The U.S. was opposed to its creation, but is now a strident supporter of bringing al-Bashir before the court on genocide charges.

He accused the rebels of committing war crimes, including murder, pillaging and deliberately attacking peacekeepers.

Both China and Russia are accused of arming Sudan, but both also approved the council‘s 2005 resolution ordering Moreno-Ocampo to investigate crimes in Darfur.

"We are not lawyers, we are not prosecutors," Kumalo added. "We sit here having to make decisions ... to balance the two things between the maintenance of international security and for fighting impunity." Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>

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