ICC Prosecutor Set to Charge Sudan's PresidentBy VOA News
13 July 2008
Pro-government demonstrators, holding a placard referring to International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo, 13 Jul 2007
The International Criminal Court's (ICC) prosecutor appears set to seek the indictment of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and other Sudanese officials later Monday for war crimes in Darfur.
Luis Moreno-Ocampo is expected to submit to judges in The Hague evidence on war crimes committed in the Darfur region that have left hundreds of thousands of people dead since 2003.
In Khartoum Sunday, thousands of people shouting anti-American slogans joined a demonstration in protest against potential arrest warrants.
Mr. al-Bashir also held an emergency Cabinet meeting to discuss the situation. Sudanese officials have been locked in talks for days and requested an Arab League crisis meeting, but no date has been set.
Meanwhile, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Sudanese leader had a telephone conversation, in which Mr. Ban expressed concern about last week's deadly attack on UNAMID peacekeepers in Darfur. He asked Mr. al-Bashir to investigate the incident.
In addition, Mr. Ban said he was concerned by a declaration made by the Permanent Representative of Sudan, which linked the initiative of the ICC prosecutor with the two U.N. peacekeeping operations deployed to Sudan.
Khartoum rejects the ICC's jurisdiction and refuses to surrender two war crimes suspects already charged with 51 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. It says the move could undermine attempts to end the Darfur conflict.
The African Union says the search for justice should be pursued in a way that does not jeopardize peace efforts in the region.
The United Nations has tightened security for its staff in Sudan, fearing a violent backlash if the ICC indicts Mr. al-Bashir