Egypt joins calls for ICC to delay Bashir warrant

[JURIST] Egypt on Sunday called for the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] to delay issuing an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] for a least a year, in order to allow peace talks between the Sudanese government and Darfur rebels to continue. A spokesman for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak [official website] said that the call came out of Sunday talks between Bashir and Mubarak, and that Egypt has already been urging other leaders to help postpone or prevent the warrant's issuance. ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official profile] has long sought an arrest warrant [JURIST report] for Bashir on charges of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, and the ICC is expected to decide soon whether or not to issue the warrant.

Earlier this month, the ICC announced that it had not issued an arrest warrant [press release; JURIST report] Bashir, despite a report [NYT report] that it had. UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon has made statements [press conference transcript, JURIST report] emphasizing the independent nature of the ICC as a judiciary organization, and stressing that Bashir should "fully cooperate with whatever decisions the ICC makes." Sudan and the African Union [JURIST reports] have both asked the UN Security Council to delay war crime charges against Bashir for one year by invoking Article 16 of the Rome Statute [text], citing fears that an arrest warrant would disrupt the Sudanese peace process.

 

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