Wednesday, February 11, 2009

ICC Judges issued the Arrest Warrant

from the New york Times
THE HAGUE — Judges at the International Criminal Court have decided to issue an arrest warrant for President Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan, brushing aside diplomatic requests to allow more time for peace negotiations in the conflict-riddled Darfur region of his country, according to court lawyers and diplomats.
It is the first time the court has sought the detention of a sitting head of state since opening its doors in 2002, and could further complicate the tense, international debate over how to solve the crisis in Darfur.
Ever since international prosecutors began seeking an arrest warrant last year, opponents have pressed the United Nations Security Council to use its power to suspend the proceedings. But a majority of council members have argued that the case should go forward, saying Mr. Bashir has not done enough to stop the bloodshed in Darfur to deserve a reprieve.
Many African and Arab nations counter that issuing a warrant for Mr. Bashir’s arrest could backfire, diminishing Sudan’s willingness to compromise for the sake of peace. Others, including some United Nations officials, worry that a warrant could inspire reprisal attacks against civilians, aid groups or the thousands of international peacekeepers deployed there.