The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) said that monitoring Sudan’s election next month would be like monitoring a vote in Hitler’s Germany.
Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo pressed for the arrest warrant issued by the ICC a year ago against Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur region. Bashir is contesting the poll.
Speaking a day after Bashir threatened to expel international election monitors for saying the vote may have to be delayed to deal with logistical problems, Moreno-Campo told a Brussels seminar:
“It’s like monitoring a Hitler election. It’s a huge challenge.”
Moreno-Campo is not involved in election monitoring. The European Union plans to send 130 observers to Sudan in April to assess the election, the country’s first multi-party vote in more than two decades.
Accusations of fraud have mounted ahead of the vote. The only long-term international observer mission in Sudan, the Carter Centre, has said the election remains “at risk on multiple fronts” and urged Sudan to lift harsh restrictions on rallies and end fighting in Darfur ahead of the ballot.
Bashir expelled major aid agencies from Darfur after the ICC last year issued its arrest warrant on counts that include murder, rape and torture.
Many opposition parties have called for the elections to be postponed, saying Sudan needs time to pass democratic reforms.
The vote is part of a 2005 peace agreement that ended more than two decades of civil war between north and south Sudan.
Pic: Sudanese President- Omar Hassan al Bashir at a military parade