Crowds of demonstrators have taken to the streets of Khartoum to protest against the arrest warrant issued for their president by the International Criminal Court.
Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir has been indicted on seven counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity over the conflict in Darfur. The UN says the fighting in the region has killed 300,000 people since 2003 and displaced many more. Hours after the warrant was issued, Sudan revoked the licences of at least six foreign aid agencies. NGO officials say this will have a major impact on humanitarian work in the region. It is the first time the Hague-based court has called for the arrest of a sitting head of state. The Sudanese government has dismissed the ICC allegations as part of a Western conspiracy. News of Bashir’s indictment prompted celebrations from Darfuri communities around the world. While many in the West support the move, Sudan has its supporters at the UN, including Russia. China, meanwhile, has called on the UN Security Council to suspend the ICC’s warrant against Bashir.