A request by a top war crimes prosecutor to file charges of genocide against Sudan’s president has been met with mixed reaction by the international community.
On Monday, the International Criminal Court prosecutor’s called for an arrest warrant against Omar al-Bashir accusing him of masterminding a genocide in the war-torn Darfur region.
Caught between its energy and political stakes in Sudan and its desire to be seen as a key player in peace talks in the region, China has expressed grave concerns over the decision.
These have been echoed by various Arab organisations, while Washington has called on calm.
ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo accuses Sudan’s armed forces and the militia they support of killing thousands of people in Darfur, and of subjecting millions to a campaign of “rape, hunger and fear”.
ICC Critics have expressed concerns the move will destabilise Sudan, undermining efforts for a peace deal and endangering the lives of thousands of UN peacekeepers there.
While it cannot intervene in the work of the ICC, the UN has urged Sudan to ensure the safety of its staff.