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Court Approves Warrant for Sudan's President

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posted on Feb, 11 2009 @ 05:08 PM

THE HAGUE — Judges at the International Criminal Court have decided to issue an arrest warrant for President Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan, brushing aside diplomatic requests to allow more time for peace negotiations in the conflict-riddled Darfur region of his country, according to court lawyers and diplomats.
It is the first time the court has sought the detention of a sitting head of state since opening its doors in 2002, and could further complicate the tense, international debate over how to solve the crisis in Darfur.
Ever since international prosecutors began seeking an arrest warrant last year, opponents have pressed the United Nations Security Council to use its power to suspend the proceedings. But a majority of council members have argued that the case should go forward, saying Mr. Bashir has not done enough to stop the bloodshed in Darfur to deserve a reprieve.
The precise charges cited by the judges against Mr. Bashir have not been disclosed. But when the court’s chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo requested an arrest warrant in July, he said he had evidence to support charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide related to a military campaign that “purposefully targeted civilians” and had been “masterminded” by Mr. Bashir.

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While I feel that it is important that President Bashir be brought to trial, I'm worried that this move will make an already volatile region more dangerous for peacekeepers and civilians; the likelihood of retaliatory attacks is high. I suppose it then becomes a question of whether or not the potential increase in deaths is worth the cause of political justice. What are your thoughts?

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