Monday, January 26, 2009

Sudan to Send Popular Delegation From Darfur to The Hague Court

Sudan to send popular delegation from Darfur to The Hague court

Sunday 25 January 2009

January 24, 2008 (NYALA) — Sudan would send a delegation of Darfur traditional leaders to ask The Hague based International Criminal Court (ICC) to not follow prosecutor request and issue an arrest warrant for the Sudanese president Omer Al-Bashir for crimes in Darfur.

The building of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands Hussein Abu Sharati the spokesperson of the Internally Displaced People in Darfur and its Refugees in Chad told Sudan Tribune that the delegation is composed of 36 people most of them are traditional leaders from the three states of Darfur. He added they would leave on Sunday to Khartoum and then they will fly to The Hague.

Abu Sharati, who described the delegation as government emanation, added that the petition it intends to deliver to the ICC does not reflect the conviction of Darfur people or represent them. He also accused the authorities of blackmailing and pressing the people to force them to sign it.

"We would like to make it clear for the world that we have no relation with the so called Popular Petition," he said. Abu Sharati added that "the IDPs in the different camps of Darfur prevented the petitioners from collect any signatures inside the camps"

Sudan government, which refuses to have any direct relation with the ICC and rejects it jurisdiction over Darfur crimes, says willing to deal with the world court through a third party: an ICC member country, a law firm or a nongovernmental organization.

Two weeks ago, two pro-Sudan groups have filed a motion with the ICC judges asking them to reject the prosecutor’s application to issue an arrest warrant for president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir. The two groups consist of the Sudan Workers Trade Unions Federation (SWTUF) and the Sudan International Defense Group (SIDG).

ICC judges are reviewing ten counts presented by prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo in mid-July that include three counts of genocide, five of crimes against humanity and two of murder and accused Al-Bashir of masterminding a campaign to get rid of the African tribes in Darfur; Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa.

They are expected to issue their decision during the upcoming weeks.

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