Bashir claims vic­tory over ICC

Lesotho Times - - Health -

KHARTOUM — Su­dan’s Pres­i­dent Omar alBashir has claimed vic­tory over the In­ter­na­tional Crim­i­nal Court after it shelved fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion of war crimes in Dar­fur, and reaf­firmed his hard line on the rebel re­gion.

The Hague-based court in­dicted Bashir in 2009 for war crimes against hu­man­ity and geno­cide in sup­press­ing the Dar­fur re­volt.

But the court’s pros­e­cu­tor Fa­tou Ben­souda said last Fri­day she was shelv­ing the Dar­fur in­ves­ti­ga­tion for lack of support from the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil, the UN body able to take co­er­cive mea­sures that could com­pel Bashir and co-de­fen­dants to face the court.

“They wanted us to kneel be­fore the In­ter­na­tional Crim­i­nal Court but the ICC raised its hands and ad­mit­ted that it had failed,” Bashir said in a de­fi­ant speech.

“The Su­danese peo­ple have de­feated the ICC and have re­fused to han­dover any Su­danese to the colo­nial­ist courts.”

The ICC has also charged Bashir’s de­fence min­is­ter, in­te­rior min­is­ter and a mili­tia leader.none has been ar­rested and Su­dan has been shielded from fur­ther ac­tion at the 15-mem­ber Se­cu­rity Coun­cil by China, a veto-wield­ing per­ma­nent mem­ber.

Pros­e­cu­tor Ben­souda said on Fri­day the Coun­cil’s in­ac­tion would only “em­bolden per­pe­tra­tors to con­tinue their bru­tal­ity”.

“I am left with no choice but to hi­ber­nate in­ves­tiga­tive ac­tiv­i­ties in Dar­fur as I shift re­sources to other ur­gent cases,” she added.

Dar­fur has been racked by con­flict since mainly non-arab tribes took up arms in 2003 against the Arab-led gov­ern­ment in Khartoum, ac­cus­ing it of dis­crim­i­na­tion. It has killed as many as 300 000 peo­ple and dis­placed two mil­lion, the UN says.

In his speech, Bashir lashed out at the op­po­si­tion, which is largely boy­cotting April’s polls, warn­ing those who had signed unity agree­ments with rebels to stay abroad with the “traitors”.

He reaf­firmed his re­fusal to ad­dress Dar­fur along­side a sep­a­rate but closely-linked in­sur­gency, mounted by for­mer civil war fight­ers left in Su­dan after South Su­dan se­ceded in 2011.

“There won’t be a new (peace) agree­ment in Dar­fur and we won’t group South Kord­o­fan and Blue Nile with Dar­fur.

“There is no re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two re­gions,” he said.

Ne­go­ti­a­tions to end a three-year-old in­sur­gency in the south­ern prov­inces col­lapsed on Tues­day after rebels in­sisted talks in­clude their al­lies in Dar­fur.

Rebels said on Fri­day they had cap­tured army outposts as near as seven km (four miles) from South Kord­o­fan’s cap­i­tal.

“This year there will be no more re­bel­lions. The armed forces are ready,” Bashir said.

— Reuters

SU­DANESE Pres­i­dent omar al-bashir.

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