Court to decide on genocide charge for Sudan’s Bashir


The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague said it would decide on Feb. 3 whether Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir should be charged with genocide.

The ICC issued an arrest warrant for Bashir in March 2009 for war crimes in Darfur, but said there were insufficient grounds to issue a warrant for genocide.

ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said earlier last Thursday he expected a genocide charge against Bashir within weeks. He appealed the earlier ruling that there were not enough grounds for the genocide count.

Bashir characterised the warrant against him as “all lies” last year and ordered foreign aid agencies out of Sudan in response. Moreno-Ocampo first asked for a warrant against Bashir in July 2008.

Estimates vary widely on how many people have died in the Darfur conflict, which began when mostly non-Arab rebels took up arms against the government in 2003.

The United Nations says more than 300 000 have died, a figure Sudan rejects.

Pic: Sudanese President: Omar Hassan al-Bashir