Accessibility links

Sudan's President: Indictment Threatens Darfur Peace Talks


Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir says a possible indictment against him for war crimes threatens to derail Darfur peace talks.

Speaking in Ghana's capital, Accra Thursday, Mr. Bashir said an indictment would prompt Darfur rebel groups to distance themselves from the talks.

He also said it would threaten Sudan's democratic transformation as political parties prepare for elections next year and would have what he called a "catastrophic" impact on regional stability.

Prosecutors at the International Criminal Court have accused Sudan's president of masterminding a campaign of rape, murder and deportation in Darfur, and have asked the court to issue a warrant for Mr. Bashir's arrest.

The court has not made a decision on the request.

The African Union and Arab League are seeking to have case postponed.

Mr. Bashir denies the charges against him, and Sudan has refused to cooperate with the court.

The Darfur conflict began in 2003, when ethnic African minority rebels took up arms against Sudan's Arab-led government and state-backed Arab militias.

The United Nations says the five-year conflict has killed more than 200,000 people and displaced some 2.5 million others. Sudan has accused Western governments and media of exaggerating the conflict, and says only about 10,000 people have died.

Mr. Bashir comments Thursday came at the opening of a two-day summit of African, Caribbean and Pacific leaders.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

XS
SM
MD
LG