Cairo Agencies: (14/7/2008: An Arab League ministerial session is expected to be scheduled for Saturday to discuss the unprecedented decision by ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo to ask the International Criminal Court (ICC) for an arrest warrant for President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, the most senior figure pursued by the court since it was set up in 2002. Echoing concern expressed by other world leaders, The African Union on Monday warned of "widespread anarchy" in Sudan if president al-Bashir were to be indicted. The US government has said it is bolstering security for its staff in Sudan as the ICC prosecutor’s move raised concerns of a violent backlash. Sudan immediately rejected the prosecutor’s call as damaging to Darfur peace hopes.
ARAB LEAGUE TO HOLD SUDAN CRISIS TALKS TOMORROW (WEDNESDAY:16/7/2008):
The Arab League said Monday it will hold crisis talks on Sudan tomorrow (Wednesday: 16/7/2008) to discuss Moreno- Ocampo’s bid to seek the arrest of President Omar al-Beshir. Arab League permanent representatives will hold an extraordinary meeting on Wednesday in Cairo to discuss the situation between Sudan and the ICC. A ministerial session is expected to be held in Cairo Saturday.
SUDAN FACES ANARCHY-AU:
The African Union on Monday warned of "widespread anarchy" in Sudan if the International Criminal Court indicted President Omar el-Beshir, echoing concern expressed by other world leaders.
Tanzanian Foreign Minister Bernard Membe speaking on behalf of the AU chair President Jakaya Kikwete, told AFP: "If Beshir is indicted and taken, there will be a power vacuum in the Sudan and that risks military coups and widespread anarchy reminiscent of what is happening in Iraq.
Meanwhile, the UN is to remove some staff from Darfur. The United Nations said the decision to pull back some non-essential staff came after recent violence and as a precaution after the international prosecutor accused Sudan’s president of genocide.
Ban Ki-Moon, the United Nations secretary-general, on Monday told Sudan it must continue to co-operate fully with UN personnel in the country and ensure their safety regardless of the international arrest warrant looming over its head of state.
UN FEARS FOR PEACEKEEPERS IN SUDAN:
Mr Ban spoke by telephone with Omar al-Bashir, Sudanese president, at the weekend to stress the independence of the International Criminal Court and to remind him that, as secretary-general, he had no power to interfere in its actions.
Mr Ban’s message of business-as-usual could not, however, disguise the disquiet at the UN over the future of its operations in Sudan.
The dilemma the UN faces is that the Security Council, having mandated the ICC to track down those responsible for war crimes in Darfur, has also mandated the UN secretariat to foster peace agreements in Sudan to which the Bashir government is a party.
US CONCERNED ABOUT SECURITY IN SUDAN AFTER ICC MOVE:
Washington on Monday stopped short of giving its backing to the efforts by the top prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC), tribunal US officials oppose for fear it might prosecute US troops overseas for political reasons.
The White House and the State Department said they were reviewing prosecutor Luis Moreno-
SUDAN BIDS FOR UN SECURITY COUNCIL TO BLOCK DARFUR PROSECUTION: Sudan‘s ambassador says his country will try to persuade the UN Security Council to block the ICC prosecutor from pursuing genocide charges against the Sudanese president.
Correspondents at the UN headquarters in New York say that Mr Ocampo was asked by the UN Security Council to investigate the killings in Darfur – and this means the 15-member body also has the power to suspend his work on the case for a year.
The sources added that Sudan has been lobbying China, Russia and African nations on the Security Council to see if it can win the nine votes needed to pass a resolution to do that.
But the sources maintain that it would be difficult for countries which recognise the ICC to vote to stop the prosecutor’s work, as this would seem to undermine the court.
However, if there is a widespread feeling at the UN that Mr Ocampo’s charges against Mr Bashir are destabilizing Sudan, then the mood could change.
Sudan‘s ambassador also says al-Bashir likely will visit the UN General Assembly in September, and that Sudan would consider any attempt to arrest him a declaration of war.
SUDAN ANGERED BY GENOCIDE CLAIMS:
The Sudanese government has meanwhile responded angrily after an international prosecutor accused President Omar al-Bashir of genocide in Darfur.
Sudan’s UN envoy said the International Criminal Court had no jurisdiction in Sudan and that it would not co-operate. And Vice-President Ali Osman Taha said the evidence was false and indicated Sudan may try to halt the court’s work.
A pro-government rally is took to the the in Khartoum yesterday.
Judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC), an independent body, have still to decide if there are reasonable grounds to issue an arrest warrant against Mr Bashir.