U.N. diplomats and officials say judges at the International Criminal Court have decided to indict Sudan’s president for war crimes in Darfur.
Officials say on the condition of anonymity that the court will issue an arrest warrant for President Omar al-Bashir. They say the decision will be made public later this month.
It is not clear whether the Hague-based court will indict him on all 10 counts of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes brought by the court’s chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo.
On Tuesday, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Sudan must cooperate fully with whatever decision the court makes and should ensure the safety of U.N. peacekeepers and civilians in the country.
Sudan has rejected the court’s authority. Sudanese officials say the safety of peacekeepers in Sudan is not in jeopardy, buy they say authorities cannot control public outrage if an arrest warrant is issued for the president.
The developments come as a key Darfur rebel group holds peace talks in Qatar with the Sudanese government. The rebels from the Justice and Equality Movement accused Sudan’s government Wednesday of undermining the talks by allowing army troops to advance towards rebel positions on the ground in Darfur.
Also Wednesday, key members of the U.S. Congress urged the Obama administration to quickly focus on the situation in Sudan and to appoint a presidential envoy to the country. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom also called on the administration to help Sudanese leaders implement a fragile peace deal that ended years of fighting between the Khartoum government and southern rebels.
— VOA News