t r u t h o u t | 02.11
Monday 09 February 2009
by: Colum Lynch, The
As global court weighs
United Nations - In the coming weeks, judges from the International Criminal Court will decide whether to issue a warrant for the arrest of
African Union leaders last week backed
Even the Obama administration, which has vowed to increase pressure on
Sudan's U.N. envoy said that both the United States and the United Nations realize they cannot afford to shun Khartoum, which hosts two major U.N. peacekeeping operations, possesses massive oil reserves and now has a new role as a U.N. power broker.
"They can never do without us," Mohamad said. "Our diplomatic standing is always on the rise. Whenever others unjustly try to corner us, we emerge victorious."
"It's a strange reality," Rice said in an interview, citing
But Rice added that the diplomatic outreach to
The violence in Darfur began in February 2003, when two rebel groups launched an attack against
U.N. officials and analysts say that the prosecutor's decision to charge Bashir with mass murder on July 14 has complicated their efforts to manage two peacekeeping operations in Sudan, one in Darfur and another in southern Sudan, where the United Nations is struggling to help implement a political settlement to end a 26-year-old civil war that has led to the deaths of an additional 1.9 million people.
"This is terra incognita," said Alex de Waal, program director at the Social Science Research Council and a specialist in Sudanese politics. De Waal has sharply criticized Ocampo's decision to charge Bashir, arguing that it may inflame an already volatile situation and make it harder to press for peace in the country.
The U.N. secretary general initially stopped speaking to Bashir after his legal adviser counseled him to limit contacts with an alleged war criminal. But he reversed course amid concerns about the fate of the U.N. operations in
Sudan's U.N. envoy insists that Khartoum has been trying to meet international demands to cooperate with international peacekeepers, pursue a political settlement in
Ocampo has come under criticism privately from allies of the court, who believe he lacked sufficient evidence to charge Bashir with genocide, which is extremely difficult to prove. But they remain confident that the court will issue an arrest warrant against Bashir on the charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes.
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