ICC prosecutor to seek arrest of Sudan's president for genocide
The pending charges by the international court have put the UN on edge, as it fears reprecussions against its peacekeepers in Darfur.
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Experts believe that Bashir already is on his heels and that formal charges could provoke a violent reaction. The Guardian cites Alex de Waal of the Social Science Research Council in New York, who says that Bashir is "obsessed with the idea that the world is out to get him," and "already feels he has been humiliated and made to look weak." Meanwhile, Sudan expert Juliet Flint told the BBC that a recent rebel attack near the Sudanese capital of Khartoum had embarrassed Bashir, and warned that "A wounded animal would strike back."Skip to next paragraph
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And although the Chinese diplomats said that the Olympic Games, which China hosts next summer, are not a factor in the nation's consideration of the Bashir charges, Shi Yinhong, an international relations expert at Renmin University in Beijing, said that "China may now find it much harder to influence Sudan, but international public opinion will become excited over this and expect much (from China), especially before the Games."
Nonetheless, The Washington Post reports that some have welcomed Moreno-Ocampo's decision and believe that formal charges will help the situation in Sudan, rather than exacerbate it.
ICC advocates contend that such court actions contribute to peace efforts. Previous indictments of world leaders -- such as former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic and former Liberian president Charles Taylor -- by other U.N. tribunals have ultimately contributed to stability in those countries, said Richard Dicker, director of the international justice office at Human Rights Watch.
"I would never belittle the potential dangers" of such international prosecutions, Dicker said. "It is the prosecutor's job, however, to follow the evidence wherever it leads, regardless of the people in high positions, he investigates. . . . Will it be controversial? You bet. What is at stake here is limiting the impunity of those associated with these horrific events in Darfur since 2003."
But Mr. Dicker also told the Los Angeles Times that "If genocide is the charge that the ICC prosecutor is pursuing, he has set himself a high hurdle to get over."