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Sudan Governing Party Rules Out Cooperation With ICC

  • Peter Clottey

Sudan's indicted President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir

Sudan's indicted President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir

A prominent member of Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) has said his party as well as the government in Khartoum will “never” cooperate with the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC).

Professor Ibrahim Ghandour, secretary for political affairs of the governing NCP, praised what he says is Kenya’s “strong efforts” of joining forces with the African Union to resist pressure from the (ICC) to arrest indicted Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir.

“African people and African leaders see the ICC as [a] European and American court, although America is not part of it. But, it is being used as a probe in order to pass decisions against some African countries. This is why we highly praise the position of Kenya, the Kenya government and the Kenyan people,” he said.

This came after an East African leaders summit was moved from Kenya to Ethiopia, a move that analysts say lessens the threat of arrest for Sudan's wanted president, Omar al-Bashir.

The leaders are expected to discuss upcoming referendums on southern Sudanese independence and the status of Sudan's oil-rich Abyei region.

Ethiopia is not a signatory to the ICC, meaning it does not have a legal obligation to arrest the Sudanese president, like Kenya.

Ghandour said the Hague-based court seems not to be interested in justice, but rather to make political decisions against Africans.

“We repeat that this court has been established not for international justice because you cannot say that four of the veto holding states in the Security Council are not part of the ICC. And then the same Security Council refers dispute or case to the ICC in a decision which will look at it as a political decision that has nothing to do with justice,” he said.

The court has issued arrest warrants for Mr. Bashir on charges that he masterminded war crimes and genocide in Sudan's restive Darfur region.

On Tuesday, the International Criminal Court released a statement asking Kenyan officials to take all necessary measures to arrest Mr. Bashir and to turn him over for trial.

The ICC said Kenya has an obligation as an ICC member state to arrest the Sudanese leader.

But, NCP official Ghandour said Louis Moreno Ocampo, chief prosecutor of the Hague-based ICC has “not behaved as someone interested in justice.”