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Darfur peacekeeping at risk if Beshir indicted: Sudan

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Sudan on Tuesday warned that peacekeeping in the troubled Darfur region would suffer if the International Criminal Court indicted President Omar al-Beshir for war crimes and genocide.

Sudan would not accept the presence of a peacekeeping force on standy-by in Darfur to arrest the president when he visited the region, presidential adviser Bonal Malual told reporters.

He was speaking a day after talks with Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki.

"We cannot let such a responsibility hang on us when we cannot be in charge as a 'sovereign, independent state of Darfur' because it is a responsibility that no one should undertake lightly so the people leaving in Darfur should be surprised when they are told to withdraw," he added.

Malual hinted that measures could include denying or withdrawing visa for foreign nationals in Darfur to enable the the government to enforce security there.

Worried by the fallout from Moreno-Ocampo's initiative, U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon has urged Khartoum to ensure the safety and security of the peacekeepers, some of whom have been targeted in the volatile region.

Since African Union-United Nations peacekeeping mission UNAMID took over from a small African Union force on Dec 31, only 7,600 troops and 1,500 police have been deployed.

That is barely a third of the projected total of 19,500 soldiers and 6,500 policemen.

Last week, ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo asked ICC judges to issue a warrant for Beshir's arrest for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur.

Moreno-Ocampo accused Beshir of having personally instructed his forces to destroy in substantial part three non-Arab ethnic groups in Darfur: the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa.

He said the president had masterminded the murder, torture and rape of civilians to commit genocide.

If the ICC judges grant his request, a decision that could take several months, it would be the first warrant issued by The Hague-based court against a sitting head of state.

But Mulual said the allegations were no-more than a "political agenda" by some western nations interested in exploiting the oil resources in the Sudan.

"This is a much bigger case than what is going on in the Darfur," he added.

In Kampala, Sudan's Vice President Salva Kiir held talks with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni as Khartoum intensified its campaign to rally African leaders behind Beshir, a presidential spokesman said.

Kiir told Museveni the "ICC should give the Sudanese government time to solve its own problems ... there is no need for ICC intervention," Museveni's spokesman Tamale Mirundi said.

The African Union has urged the U.N. Security Council to delay the ICC move, warning that an indictment might jeopardize efforts to stabilize Darfur.

On Monday, Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki, warned that any bid to put Beshir on trial for war crimes in Darfur would prove counter-productive.

The U.N. says that up to 300,000 people have died and more than 2.2 million have fled their homes since the Darfur conflict erupted in February 2003. Sudan says 10,000 have been killed.

It began when African ethnic minority rebels took up arms against the Arab-dominated Khartoum regime and state-backed Arab militias, fighting for resources and power in one of the most remote and deprived places on earth.

© AFP

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

8 Comments
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The African Union has urged the U.N. Security Council to delay the ICC move, warning that an indictment might jeopardize efforts to stabilize Darfur.

I agree. Let's give the African Union this chance.

It ain't like he's going anywhere. < :-)

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It ain't like he's going anywhere. < :-)

It ain't like the people he's killing are going anywhere, either, except into mass graves.

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SuperLib - So I guess the US is going to ship 50,000 troops and help the region.

OOPS, that's right, we can't send in extra troops. We're tied down in Afghanistan and donm't want to send in enough troops to handle the situation. Then we're tied down in Iraq in a war of choice. So our support is coming from where?

So unless peacekeeps troops come in, I guess we're just going to have to wait and see.

I'm hoping that the African Union, since they have been forced to try to work this out, finds a way to bring peace.

But if you have a better solution, I'm listening. < :-)

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So it's either up to the US or the African Union? Looks like you don't even bother including Europe anymore. How the mighty have fallen...

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We'll give you Sean Penn and Angelina Jolie to straighten out this mess.

Work with it.

USAR

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SuperLib - Missed your reply.

I hear the African Union saying they want to help. I'm more into accepting help from those who want to help, than seeking help from those who really don't care or want to help.

I have an opinion on how we use our own troops, but I don't mention much about the use Europeon troops. I don't know why, I guess an oversight on my part.

Okay, you convinced me SuperLib, send in 50,000 troops from England. Next time we need troops we'll require that Spain goes in. (Okay little sarcasm.) < :-)

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adaydream, it's good to hear that you support a unilateral, preemptive war on the WMD-less, oil-rich, predominately Muslim nation of the Sudan.

And since you already support the Iraq War, an intervention in Sudan should be no problem for you.

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Eulji_Mundeok - You apparently don't know who you are talking about.

I never ever supported supported the geroge bush Memorial War in Iraq.

I expressed support for the actions of the African Union to help with discussions and help mediate a peaceful meeting.

But since you like running your trash, give me any post that I've said I support the actions in Iraq. Give me any post that I've posted that I've said that I support a unilateral, preemptive war on the WMD-less, oil-rich, predominately Muslim nation of the Sudan.

Eulji_Mundeok - Since you obviously don't know who I am. You need to read my past postings. No where will you find a single post that supports you accusation of my postings.

I'm a damn proud Democratic Liberal and war-protestor. < :-)

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