Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Court prosecutor: isolate Sudan's president

By MIKE CORDER - Associated Press Writer

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The International Criminal Court's deputy prosecutor urged world leaders on Tuesday to cut ties with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the court for alleged war crimes in Darfur.

The U.N.-backed tribunal issued an arrest warrant for al-Bashir last month on charges including genocide for allegedly orchestrating efforts to wipe out three African tribes in his oil-rich country's Darfur region.

Since then, al-Bashir has made a series of trips to neighboring African countries and an Arab League summit in Qatar. He also expelled 13 major relief organizations from Darfur - a move denounced around the world.

The international court has no police force and relies on other countries to execute arrest warrants.

The 22-member Arab League said, however, it decided not to enforce the warrant when al-Bashir attended the Qatar summit March 30, as many Arab and African countries have said pursuing al-Bashir could further destabilize the region.

The court's deputy prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, urged nations to "deny Omar al-Bashir any form of support."

"States should implement a consistent diplomatic campaign to support the court's decision," she told diplomats in The Hague. "Nonessential contacts with Omar al-Bashir should be severed." Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>

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