KHARTOUM: The filing of genocide charges against Sudan s president at the International Criminal Court is unfair and politically motivated, said a senior member of Sudan s ruling party Monday.
One of the rebel groups fighting the government in the western Darfur region, however, welcomed the move and pronounced themselves ready to help arrest and extradite any war crimes suspects in the country.
The head of Sudan s Bar Association and ruling party stalwart, Fathi Khalil told The Associated Press that Sudan was not a member of the International Criminal Court and not bound by the decision of prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo.
“The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court with his announcement demanding the arrest of President Al-Bashir has proved that he is playing a political role, not a legal one, Khalil said.
Khalil said the decision came after international pressure on the court, undermining its reputation and independence. He said neither the ICC nor the Security Council have the right to refer a country that is not a member to the ICC to the court.
Moreno-Ocampo asked the three-judge panel to issue an arrest warrant for Al-Bashir to prevent the slow deaths of some 2.5 million people forced from their homes in the western Sudanese region of Darfur and under attack from government-backed Janjaweed militia.
“Genocide is a crime of intention – we don t need to wait until these 2.5 million die, he told The Associated Press.
The Sudanese Liberation Movement-Unity, which has been fighting the government in Darfur, has welcomed the move and even offered to help arrest Al-Bashir.
“The movement declares its commitment to cooperate fully with the ICC and are ready to carry out any tasks to arrest and extradite war criminals to the International Tribunal, the group’s statement said.