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Author Topic: Sudan fury at possible genocide charge  (Read 977 times)
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WhiskeyGirl
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« on: July 11, 2008, 03:42:09 PM »

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Sudan fury at possible genocide charge

UNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir may be charged with genocide by the International Criminal Court.

The U.N. estimates 2.5 million have been forced from their homes in Darfur.

1 of 2 Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo has scheduled a news conference Monday, just after he is expected to filed the warrant with the court.


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"All options are open for us. All reactions are open," he told CNN outside the Security Council. Moreno-Ocampo, he said, is "playing with fire."

The prosecutor said in a progress report last month to the Security Council that Sudan's "whole state apparatus" has been mobilized "to plan, commit, and cover up crimes" in Darfur.  Watch how some are concerned by the move

"For the last five years, the whole Darfur area has been a crime scene," Moreno-Ocampo said last month.

The Darfur conflict began in 2003 when Darfurians rebelled against the central government over its alleged favoritism to Arabs over Africans.

The government in Khartoum fought back allegedly unleashing the janjaweed militia to quell the uprising -- a claim the government denies.

The authorities armed and cooperated with Arab militias that went from village to village in Darfur, killing, torturing and raping residents there, according to the United Nations, western governments and human rights organizations. Militias targeted civilian members of the tribes from which the African rebels draw strength.

Human rights groups blame the janjaweed for most atrocities, including the use of rape as a weapon of war.

The U.N. estimates that some 300,000 people have died in the conflict and more than 2.5 million have been forced from their homes since 2003.

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Witnesses who spoke to CNN Correspondent Nic Robertson in May said that just four months ago, government airplanes and helicopters attacked defenseless civilians in their Darfur villages.

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In 2005, the Security Council cleared the way for possible Darfur war crime prosecutions by the ICC, a permanent tribunal set up to handle cases related to genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The court is based on a treaty signed by 106 nations -- excluding Sudan.

Once the court indicts someone, authorities in that person's native country -- or the country in which the indicted person is located -- have the power to detain the indicted person for trial at the Hague.


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"Yes, there has been a war and some people have died, but it's not like what has been reflected in the media," Interior Minister Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid said last month.

The United States has accused an adviser to President al-Bashir, Musa Halil, of leading a militia responsible for atrocities, and the U.N. Security Council has frozen his assets.

Halil denies any wrongdoing. "There is no genocide," he told CNN. "Most people came to the refugee camps because of the pressure and were used there for political marketing."


read the rest here -

http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/africa/07/11/sudan.president.genocide/?iref=hpmostpop
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