Arab League plans response to possible al-Bashir arrest warrant

[JURIST] The head of the League of Arab States [official website, in Arabic] on Sunday presented a plan [press release, in Arabic] to Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir [BBC profile, JURIST news archive] recommending how he should react to an application for an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court (ICC). The effort to arrest the president is based on allegations of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. The 22-country group held an emergency meeting [JURIST report] on Saturday to discuss the pending charges and criticized ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official profile] for seeking the arrest warrant. On Sunday, League Secretary-General Amr Moussa [offical profile] said that the group's reaction would be carefully considered rather than emotional and stressed:

To us, cooperation must begin by standing on a solid position of law and political and human rights. There must be trials and justice and the prosecution of the instigators of the situation in Darfur and elsewhere.
Mussa said that Sudanese officials generally accepted the plan, but declined to offer plan specifics. The African Union [official website] is scheduled to consider the issue Monday. AFP has more. The Sudan Tribune has local coverage.

Moreno-Ocampo applied for the arrest warrant [application, PDF; JURIST report] last Monday for crimes al-Bashir allegedly committed in the Darfur region of Sudan. The application, which followed a three-year investigation involving more than 100 witnesses in 18 countries, began with the referral of the situation to the Office of the Chief Prosecutor in 2005 [JURIST report]. This past June, Moreno-Ocampo stated before the UN Security Council [official website] that “evidence shows that the commission of such crimes on such a scale, over a period of five years, and throughout Darfur, has required the sustained mobilization of the entire Sudanese state apparatus.” The Security Council has repeatedly called on Sudan to comply with the ICC investigation [JURIST report], but Sudan has refused to do so, calling Moreno-Ocampo a "terrorist" [JURIST report] and suggesting that he should be removed from office.


 

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