KHARTOUM, March 5 (Xinhua) -- The Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on Thursday slammed in public the International Criminal Court's (ICC) arrest warrant against him. Analysts say the leader's counteraction is justifiable given the court's impotence and a widespread perception of bias in international community.
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir attends a ceremony in Merowe, Sudan, March 3, 2009. The International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague of the Netherlands issued an international arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on March 4, 2009. (Xinhua/Zhai Xi) Photo Gallery>>>
PERCEPTION OF BIAS
Hassan al-Sauri, professor of political science at the University of Khartoum, said the court is not a legal organ, but "a political tool preoccupied by Western agenda."
"The ICC does not only aimed at Sudan. It also targeted those developing countries which want to carry out independent policies," he told Xinhua.
The professor cited the website of the ICC saying that the court has embarked on cases in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Uganda and Sudan, all of whom are African countries.
Large numbers of civilians have been killed by U.S.-led forces in Iraq and Afghanistan in the past few years, but there were only "regrets," no court procedures, he said.
The 22-member Arab League (AL) has communicated with the ICC after the 22-day Gaza war in which more than 1,300 people were killed by Israeli forces, but in vain. Israel argued that the Jewish country is not a member of the ICC and thus not subject to the court's jurisdiction.
The ICC's perceptible bias has drawn backlashes among African countries and Arab nations.
The Arab League said it was "deeply concerned" about and "greatly disturbed" by the ICC decision, and voiced support for the sovereignty of Sudan. The Africa Union, which is mulling a collective walkout from the ICC, said the decision would impede Sudan's peace process.
Chinese government's special representative for Darfur Liu Guijin also said Thursday afternoon that the arrest warrant could gravely obstructed the peace process in Darfur.
He noted that the agreement of goodwill and confidence-building for the settlement of the Darfur issue signed in February created a good environment for achieving progress in the political process.
"Though judicatory justice is important for the Darfur region, it should not be acquired at the cost of peaceful process in the region," he said, noting that the international community should be responsible and committed to appeasing the situation in Sudan, but should not fuel the already tense situation.
Sauri also said Sudan must take effective diplomatic maneuvers to cope with the situation, which could collect support from AU, AL and Asian allies.
Sudan has refuted the ICC's accusations since the court's prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo launched a campaign against Bashir in July, saying that it is not a signatory of the Rome Statute.
"Sudan can make it because the ICC, established on the Rome Statute, has no law enforcement agency and thus has to rely on its members to carry out the arrest," Dr. Omar Kabashi, a Khartoum-based international law expert, told Xinhua.
"Meanwhile, the ICC has no chance to force the non-member countries to implement its decision as long as Sudan does not deprive Bashir of immunity," he added.
The president is widely supported in the Africa's biggest country, especially in the northern Arab-dominated provinces. The three-member Sudanese presidency, which includes First Vice President Salva Kiir Mayardit who is a former rebel leader of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) that controls the semi-autonomous south, issued a joint anti-ICC statement on Wednesday.
"On the whole, the problem of the ICC is that the Rome Statute, on which it is based, is a partial law rather than a universal one, such as the Geneva Convention," he said.
"The UN, in which Sudan is a member, could take actions under the ICC's request, including economic sanctions and embargo, but it cannot invade the country and arrest the president," he added.
A UN spokesman said Wednesday that UN officials, including those from the UN mission in Sudan (UNMIS) and the AU/UN Hybrid operation in Darfur (UNMID), will continue to deal with Bashir when needed.
"Bashir is still the head of state of Sudan, and UNMIS will continue to deal with him" in accordance with its mandate when necessary, said Michele Montas, the spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
BEIJING, March 5 (Xinhua) -- The arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) would severely disturb political process of the Darfur region as well as peace and stability of the country, said a Chinese envoy here Thursday.
"China is deeply worried about this issue," Liu Guijin, the special representative of the Chinese government for Darfur, said in an interview. Full story
BEIJING, March 5 (Xinhua) -- China said it felt regretful and worried about the decision by the International Criminal Court to issue an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on war crimes charges.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang made the remarks here on Thursday in response to a question on the matter. Full story
KHARTOUM, March 5 (Xinhua) -- The Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on Thursday lashed out at the International Criminal Court(ICC) for its ignorance over Iraq and Gaza at a massive rally in Sudan's capital city Khartoum.
"The ICC ignores the criminal acts in Iraq and Gaza," the president said, referring to two war-torn territories where large numbers of civilians have been killed in the past few years. Full story
Sudanese Vice President Ali Osman Mohamed Taha speaks at a press conference in the Friendship Hall in Khartoum, Sudan, March 4, 2009. Sudan absolutely rejects the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC), Vice President Ali Osman Mohamed Taha said Wednesday. (Xinhua/Zhai Xi) Photo Gallery>>>
KHARTOUM, March 4 (Xinhua) -- Sudan on Wednesday rejected an arrest warrant issued by the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) that charged its President Omar al-Bashir with war crimes and crimes against humanity.
"The Sudanese presidency absolutely rejects the arrest warrant issued by the so-called International Criminal Court," Vice President Ali Osman Mohamed Taha said Wednesday at a press conference in the capital's Friendship Hall. Full story
THE HAGUE, March 4 (Xinhua) -- The International Criminal Court(ICC) on Wednesday issued an international arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur.
This is the first time the court has decided to issue an arrest warrant for a sitting head of state since it was established in July 2002. Full story
Protestors take part in a rally supporting Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir in Khartoum, capital of Sudan, March 4, 2009. Thousands of protestors massed in Khartoum Wednesday to protest at the International Criminal Court (ICC)'s arrest warrant against Beshir. ICC said on Wednesday it has issued an arrest warrant for Beshir for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. (Xinhua/Zhai Xi) Photo Gallery>>>
KHARTOUM, March 4 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of Sudanese on Wednesday held a rally at the capital's Council of Ministers in response to the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court's (ICC) to President Omar al-Bashir earlier in the day.
The majority of the rally are the country's civil servants, an organizer at the scene told Xinhua. Full story
WASHINGTON, March 4 (Xinhua) -- The United States on Wednesday urged all parties to the Darfur conflict to exercise restraint after the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.
"The White House believes that those that have committed atrocities should be held accountable. As this process moves forward, that we would urge restraint on the part of all parties, including the government of Sudan," said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs. Full story