Genocide charges for Sudan leader?

International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said July 7 that he has filed an appeal to have Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir charged with genocide in the Darfur conflict. In March, the court indicted Bashir on seven counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity—including murder, rape and torture—but ruled that it had insufficient grounds for a charge of genocide. Bashir has dismissed the allegations as part of a Western conspiracy.

In his appeal, Moreno-Ocampo said the prosecution had “submitted detailed evidence on the…use of the entire Sudanese state apparatus for the purpose of destroying a substantial part of the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups in the entire region of Darfur during more than six years.”

The ICC chief prosecutor is in Ethiopia for talks with the African Union, which says Bashir should not be charged. At an AU summit last week, African leaders protested that their request to the UN Security Council to delay Bashir’s indictment had been ignored, and said they would not help arrest Sudan’s leader. (Reuters, BBC News, July 7)

See our last posts on Darfur, Sudan and the struggle in the Sahel.

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