The European Union supports the move against al-Bashir. But the United States, which isn’t a party to the International Criminal Court, says it needs more time to study the charges and is very worried about the consequences for Darfur. A fear echoed, and voiced, by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.
“The Sudanese government should do everything possible under their authority to ensure the safety and security of UN peacekeepers and premises and all international humanitarian workers,” he said in Paris.
France favours political distance.
The French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said: “It is a decision of the international criminal court and President al-Bashir must respect it. We don’t have a grudge against him. He must deal with the decisions which have been put to him.”
But al-Bashir rejects the charges. Khartoum is expected to seek the support of Russia and China to prevent any court appearance. Arab League ministers will meet at the weekend.