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World reaction: Bashir warrant

The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague has issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir,

Omar al-Bashir in Qatar, 29 Nov 2008
Mr Bashir denies the charges
accusing him of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur.

Mr Bashir is the first sitting head of state the court has ordered arrested.

However, prosecutors said there was insufficient evidence to support charges of genocide.

Here are a selection of reactions to the issuing of the arrest warrant from around the world.

MUSTAFA OSMAN ISMAIL, SUDANESE PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER

They do not want Sudan to become stable. The court is only one mechanism of neo-colonialist policy used by the West against free and independent countries.

UN STATEMENT FROM SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

The Secretary General recognises the authority of the ICC as an independent judicial institution.

The United Nations will continue to conduct its vital peacekeeping, humanitarian, human rights and development operations and activities in Sudan.

The Secretary General calls on all parties to work in good faith toward a political solution to end the conflict in Darfur. He also calls on the parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement to recommit themselves to the full and timely implementation of the Agreement, which remains the basis for the long term peace and stability in Sudan.

JEAN PING, AFRICAN UNION COMMISSION CHAIRMAN

The AU's position is that we support the fight against impunity; we cannot let crime perpetrators go unpunished.

But we say that peace and justice should not collide, that the need for justice should not override the need for peace.

AHMAD HUSAYN ADAM, SPOKESMAN FOR DARFUR JEM REBELS

This is a great day for all humanity and for international justice.

It is also a victory for us in the Justice and Equality Movement because the decision comes after much effort by many activists since the beginning of this crisis in 2003 to try President Bashir and his regime for their crimes in Darfur, for the killings and the displacement.

MAHGOUB HUSSEIN, DARFUR SLA-UNITY REBEL SPOKESMAN

This is another victory for humanity in Darfur.

The SLA-Unity calls for al-Bashir to resign and hand over power to the first deputy.

The movement announces that its military has to work and co-operate with the International Criminal Court, and take the necessary steps to bring the Sudanese president to international justice.

ROBERT WOOD, US STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN

The United States believes those who have committed atrocities should be brought to justice. We urge restraint on the part of all parties including the government of Sudan. Further violence against civilian Sudanese or foreign interests must be avoided and will not be tolerated.

MIKHAIL MARGELOV, RUSSIAN SPECIAL ENVOY TO SUDAN

The untimely fulfilment of the ICC decision to arrest the president of Sudan will create a dangerous precedent in the system of international relations and could negatively affect the situation both inside Sudan and the overall situation in the region.

DAVID MILIBAND, UK FOREIGN SECRETARY

We support the independent process that has led to this decision, which we fully respect. We have consistently urged the government of Sudan to co-operate with the court over existing arrest warrants. We deeply regret that the Government has not taken these allegations seriously or engaged with the court, and we repeat today our call for its co-operation.

ERIC CHEVALLIER, FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN

France earnestly requests that Sudan co-operate fully with the ICC to implement the decisions taken by the judges in line with the obligation placed upon it by Security Council resolution 1593.

The fight against impunity is inseparable from the search for peace in Darfur as it is in the rest of the world… There can be no other solution than a political one to the Darfur crisis.

EGYPTIAN GOVERNMENT STATEMENT

Wednesday's arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is cause for great Egyptian concern about the negative impacts this might have on Sudan's security and stability.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit… urged the UN Security Council to hold an emergency meeting to delay the enforcement of the court decision.

This is not the first time Egypt has warned of the irresponsible handling of the situation in Sudan. More than once Cairo stressed the need for a comprehensive political solution that will bring long-term justice to neighbouring Sudan.

ABDOULAYE WADE, SENEGAL PRESIDENT
The accusations of President Bashir by the International Criminal Court have come to complicate things, because the rebels now say, how can we now negotiate with a president who's going to go to prison, so that's what caused a setback in negotiations with the rebels.

The problem is that today many Africans have the impression that this tribunal is only there to judge Africans and this wasn't my intention when I signed for it. Wherever in the world the people committing genocide are, we should judge them, but not only judge the Africans.

RICHARD DICKER, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH

Not even presidents are guaranteed a free pass for horrific crimes. By ruling there is a case for President al-Bashir to answer for the horrors of Darfur, the warrant breaks through Khartoum's repeated denials of his responsibility.

JUSTICE FOR DARFUR STATEMENT

The Justice for Darfur campaign calls on the international community to put pressure on the Sudanese authorities to ensure that they fulfil their obligation to execute the warrant.

The government of Sudan has not brought any of the people responsible for crimes under international law committed in Darfur before the courts, and to date it has refused to cooperate with the ICC and to hand over any suspects.



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