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Sudan's Bashir Vows No Cooperation With ICC


Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has vowed that his country will not cooperate with the International Criminal Court, which has moved to indict him from alleged war crimes in Darfur.

Addressing local and international trade union leaders in Khartoum Sunday, Mr. Bashir said Sudan has taken a firm stance that there will be no cooperation with the court.

The ICC's chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, accuses Mr. Bashir of masterminding a campaign of rape, murder, and deportation to destroy three tribes in Sudan's Darfur region. He has asked the court's judges to issue a warrant for the Sudanese president's arrest.

The African Union has expressed concern that the ICC's actions could endanger the peace process in Darfur. The United Nations Security Council noted the AU's concerns in a resolution last week that extended the mandate of UN and AU peacekeepers in the region.

The African Union is expected to send its top permanent official to Sudan Sunday. Jean Ping, chairman of African Union Commission, is to arrive in Khartoum at the head of a delegation of AU officials.

Darfur rebel groups took up arms against the Sudanese government in 2003. Experts say the fighting in the region has killed more than 200,000 people and displaced some 2.5 million.

Sudan says Western governments and media have exaggerated the conflict, and that only about 10,000 people have died.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.