Sudan's Bashir slams West over arrest warrant

Sudan's president denounced the tribunal, the U.N. and aid agencies on Thursday as part of a new colonialism that aims to destabilize his country.

Sudan's Bashir slams West over arrest warrant

Sudan's president denounced the tribunal, the U.N. and aid agencies on Thursday as part of a new colonialism that aims to destabilize his country.

President Omar Hassan al-Bashir told thousands of cheering supporters the arrest warrant was a colonialist ploy.

Bashir said the ICC was a tool of imperialists targeting Sudan for its oil, natural gas and other resources.

"We have refused to kneel to colonialism, that is why Sudan has been targeted ... because we only kneel to God," he told a crowd outside the Republican Palace.

Cheers of "We are ready to protect religion!" and "Down, down USA!" interrupted his speech from thousands of protesters.

Some in the crowd carried banners branding the court's prosecutor a criminal and Bashir, 65, danced along to nationalist songs.

The the International Criminal Court, ICC has no powers of arrest and relies on national police forces to hand suspects over.

"We will deal responsibly and decisively with anybody who tries to target the stability and security of the country," Bashir told a meeting of top politicians on Thursday.


International response to the ICC's decision has been mixed.

Washington has quickly welcomed the ICC warrant.

China, a major investor in Sudan's oil which has sent peacekeepers to Darfur, urged the U.N. Security Council on Thursday to heed calls from African and Arab countries and suspend the case against Bashir.

The Organisation of Islamic Conference also condemned the decision, with Ekmeleddine Ihsanoglu, its secretary-general, saying that the warrant might negatively affect efforts to solve the crisis in Darfur and could threaten stability in Sudan and the whole region.

OIC said Ihsanoglu rejected the kind of selectivity and double standards applied by the international community in dealing with issues of crimes against humanity and war crimes which directly affects the credibility of the international legal system.

The Secretary General once more appealed to the UN Security Council to suspend the move by the ICC in the interest of the ongoing peace efforts in the Sudan.

The Arab League and African Union are sending delegates to the UN to attempt to persuade the body to delay the implementation of the warrant.

The Rome statute that set up the ICC allows the UN Security Council to pass a resolution to defer or suspend for a year the investigation or prosecution of a case.

Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, has urged Sudan to co-operate with the court.

The UN says that up to 300,000 have been killed in Darfur, where the UN is running one of the world's largest humanitarian missions, while Khartoum says that 10,000 have died.

A further 2.7 million people are estimated to have been uprooted by the conflict, which began when mostly non-Arab rebels took up arms against the government in 2003.

Aid works

"We in Sudan have always been a target of the U.N. and these organizations because we have said, 'No,'" al-Bashir said. "We said the resources of Sudan should go to the people of Sudan."

He denounced the leaders of the United States and Europe as the "real criminals ... who are coming up with new lies."

"They think we will kneel down to them," he said. "We say, 'No.'"

"We have expelled 10 foreign organisations ... after monitoring activities that act in contradiction to all regulation and laws," he said.

Hassabo Mohamed Abd el-Rahman, head of the government's Humanitarian Aid Commission, told Reuters some groups had "passed false reports of genocide and rape to ICC." He said many agencies were being investigated.

An aid official said later the government was set to expel three more aid agencies, bringing the total number to 13.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 05 Mart 2009, 15:02