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Sudan's President: ICC 'Failed' in Prosecution Effort


FILE – The International Criminal Court has suspended its probe of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, accused of orchestrating genocide and crimes against humanity.

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir is claiming victory over the International Criminal Court after the court's prosecutor suspended the investigation of alleged war crimes in Darfur.

Speaking in Khartoum Saturday, President Bashir said the Sudanese people "defeated" the ICC by refusing to hand over Sudanese officials to what he called "colonial courts."

He says the court has "admitted" that failed in its effort against him.

ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said Friday that she has "no choice but [to] hibernate investigative activities" in the Bashir case and shift those resources to other urgent cases.

In an address to the U.N. Security Council, Bensouda said the Council has not pushed hard enough for the arrest of the Sudanese leader.

The charges stem from the Sudanese government's battle against insurgents in Darfur, dating back to 2003. The ICC indicted Mr. Bashir on 10 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide for attacks on civilians in the region.

The charges include murder, torture, rape, pillaging and attempting to bring about the physical destruction of groups in Darfur.

Bashir refused to turn himself in after his indictment in 2009, and is protected while he is in Sudan. He has since visited several countries that are ICC members - where he presumably would face the risk of arrest - but was not detained on those occasions.

The court also has brought Darfur war-crimes charges against four other Sudanese nationals, all of whom remain at large.

The Security Council is divided over the matter. Security Council member China, which has veto power over Council decisions, is allied with Sudan and has been reluctant to take measures against the Khartoum government.

Rebels in Darfur rose up against the Arab-led Sudanese government in 2003. The United Nations has placed a peacekeeping force in the region, but more than a decade of violence has taken some 300,000 lives and displaced close to 2 million people.

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