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Sudan Ready to Cooperate Without Preconditions Over ICC Warrant


Sudan's government says it is ready to work with the international community in a compromise to improve the security situation in the Darfur region. This comes after its delegation to the United Nations sought to have a possible International Criminal Court (ICC) indictment against President Umar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir over human rights abuses. The chief prosecutor of the ICC, Louis Moreno Ocampo accuses President Bashir of committing genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur. But Sudan's government maintains that a possible indictment against President Bashir would derail Darfur peace talks.

The United States and some European countries reportedly said they are ready to have the indictment differ if Khartoum would change its policies in Darfur.

Ambassador Ali Saddick is the spokesman for Sudan's foreign ministry. He tells reporter Peter Clottey that Khartoum is ready to cooperate with anybody with no strings attached over the ICC possible indictment of President Bashir.

"In fact our delegation headed by the Vice President Ali Osman Taha was able to present the Sudan government's position regarding the International Criminal Court. And in this regard, we have made so many meetings and consultations with different groups and the vice president also met with Condoleezza Rice and the special envoy Mr. Williamson. And we briefed them on the support that Sudan has got from over 140 countries, but there is, I think, some more work to go," Saddick noted.

He said The United States as well as some European countries are skeptical about Sudan's role in the troubled Darfur region and are demanding a dramatic change in Khartoum's policies.

"The Americans are not convinced with his (Vice President Taha) position, and we are not convinced with the imposition the Americans are using. The position is that they are ready to support any suspension of the continuation of the ICC in the condition that some development is being achieved on the ground in Darfur. And we are working on that because the government now is working with the United Nations and the African Union on two tracks - Peace and there is a political solution the negotiations with the Abuja Agreement and on the other tracks the deployment of the UMISS (United Nations Mission in Sudan) force in Darfur," he said.

Saddick said Khartoum has made significant progress working with other nations to resolve the crisis in Darfur as well as the possible ICC indictment of President Bashir.

"They were received very well in most of the countries and we are still working with the French, the British and the Americans, although the United States is just like us, we are not part of the ICC statute. But I think we need to put in some more effort with those countries so that overall objective of the African Union had agreed that this indictment should be stopped at one point," Saddick pointed out.

He said Khartoum would not be pushed around under any circumstances.

"It is the belief of the government of Sudan and that of the African Union and the Arab League that if strings were not attached to the issues, western governments, those three countries in particular not all that has not been done regarding the situation in Darfur does not lie on the government of Sudan because now, there is insecurity. The government is trying to forge a security, but there are other factors who are doing otherwise," he said.

Saddick said the government of President Bashir is working with some international bodies to ensure peace and stability returns to Darfur.

"The government of Sudan is helping the United Nations to complete the deployment of the forces and all the requirements for UNMIL to operate, but again the United Nations is not doing anything, so, it is not entirely the government. We need other people to help us to assist the United Nations to complete or to do its obligations regarding the peaceful resettlement and the deployment of the 26 thousand strong force," Saddick noted.

He said although there was a need for compromise on the way forward in addressing the insecurity situation in Darfur, Khartoum would not be bullied.

"I can't agree more because we believe that there should be some compromise if there are no political agenda, I think we would reach some agreement very soon," he said.