ICC prosecutor seeks arrest of Sudanese president

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The ICC's headquarters in The Hague.
Image: Hanhil.

The International Criminal Court's (ICC) Procecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampohas accused Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir of major crimes committed in the Darfur region. Mr. Bashir is said to have personally directed a mlitary campaign "to destroy in substantial part the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa" tribes. He has asked the ICC for a warrant to arrest al-Bashir for 10 offences including war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

Some have criticized the move, saying that it will spark further violence and unrest in the country

Al-Bashir came to rule power in 1989. There has been a racial conflict in the country since 2003. The Arab militia, named the Janjaweed, are a government funded group alleged to have been driving the conflict in the region. Since 2003, as many as 300,000 people have been killed and 2 million people displaced from their homes.

Al-Bashir has rejected the charges, claiming the ICC has no authority to arrest him as Sudan is not a member of the court.

The United Nations will evacuate all non-essential peacekeepers in the region however they maintain that they will continue their operation despite the deteriorating security situation.