SUDAN WATCH: UN chief: ICC action diverts attention from implementing peace accord in Sudan

Thursday, February 05, 2009

UN chief: ICC action diverts attention from implementing peace accord in Sudan

The ICC actions have "a major impact on Sudanese political dynamics and have diverted much attention at a time when outstanding issues related to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) require the parties' cooperation and renewed commitment," UN chief Ban Ki-moon said in his latest report to the UN Security Council on the Sudan.

UN chief: ICC action diverts attention from implementing peace accord in Sudan
February 4, 2009 report by Xinhua editor Zhang Xiang published Feb. 5:
The International Criminal Court (ICC)'s actions against Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir have distracted attention away from implementing a major peace accord, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday.

The ICC actions have "a major impact on Sudanese political dynamics and have diverted much attention at a time when outstanding issues related to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) require the parties' cooperation and renewed commitment," Ban said in his latest report to the UN Security Council on the Sudan.

The CPA, signed in January, 2005 between the government of the Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement, ended a long-running north-south civil war in Sudan.

Ban said that while he is encouraged by the assurances of continued support by the government, he is also concerned about remarks by some of its officials that the government may redefine its relationship with the UN mission in Sudan (UNMIS) should an arrest warrant be issued against al-Bashir.

UNMIS was established in March, 2005 by the UN Security Council with a mandate to support the implementation of the CPA.

The secretary-general called upon the government to fulfil its obligations to ensure the safety of United Nations staff and of nationals of the state members of the United Nations in the Sudan.

Last July, ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo filed 10 charges against al-Bashir, including three counts of genocide, five of crimes against humanity and two of murder, called for an arrest warrant.

The world court is reviewing the case before deciding on whether to issue such a warrant, which will clear the way for the first indictment of a sitting head of state. A decision could come as early as this month.

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