U.S. officials might allow ICC's Darfur case against Sudan president to be deferred by the U.N. Security Council?
reporting from Khartoum, Sudan
Uncertainty as Sudan awaits president's arrest - excerpt:
If Sudan were to replace Bashir or agree to reforms, U.S. officials are prepared to allow the ICC case to be deferred by the U.N. Security Council.- - -
"They are going to use the arrest warrant like a loaded gun, but not fire it," said one U.S. government official who was not authorized to speak publicly. "It's a way to say, 'Here is your last chance.' "
Others warn such a strategy is fraught with risk. Former U.S. envoy to Sudan Andrew Natsios questioned whether Sudan's ruling clique would respond to outside pressure.
"We are assuming that they will become more rational," he said. "But they become more inflexible, more confrontational and more brutal the more they are cornered."
Natsios warned that the ICC arrest warrant might trigger the collapse of the regime or a return to war, particularly if it distracts from implementation of the 2005 peace treaty that ended the civil war with southern rebels.
"We could end up with another Rwanda or Somalia or Democratic Republic of Congo in which hundreds of thousands of people could be killed," he said. "We could end up with something much worse."
Special correspondent Alsanosi Ahmed contributed to this report.
From Sudan Tribune Sunday 1 March 2009:
US views ICC warrant for Sudan’s Bashir as his ‘last chance’ - excerpt:
February 28, 2009 (KHARTOUM) — The US is willing to consider supporting a suspension of International Criminal Court (ICC) move against Sudan president but views it his last chance according to a news report.