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Sudan SPLM discussed asking Bashir to step down: report

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Monday 5 January 2009 02:42.

January 4, 2009 (PARIS) – The southern Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) contemplated urging president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir to step down in the event of the issuance of an arrest warrant, a newspaper reported today.

The London based Al-Sharq Al-Awsat quoting unidentified SPLM officials said a meeting was held to discuss options should Al-Bashir be formally charged by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

In mid-July the ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno- Ocampo filed 10 charges against Al-Bashir: three counts of genocide, five of crimes against humanity and two of murder and accused the Sudanese president of masterminding a campaign to get rid of the African tribes in Darfur; Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa.

The ICC judges are believed to be in the process of issuing a decision before the end of the month.

The SPLM officials said that Salva Kiir’s visit to Washington will carry their vision on a post-arrest warrant future during talks with US officials.

They further said that the proposal asking Bashir to resign has triggered divisions during the meeting on the grounds that such a request may cause the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) to dissolve the government of national unity effectively suspending the Comprehensive Agreement (CPA).

NCP officials have both publicly and privately blasted the SPLM for calling on Sudan to deal with the ICC.

Sudan’s foreign minister Deng Alor who is an SPLM figure came under fierce attack from pro-government columnists and NCP lawmakers for echoing his movement’s call on missions abroad.

The Sudanese government rejected the ICC jurisdiction over Darfur war crimes saying its judiciary is capable of prosecuting any criminals.

Sudan’s 2nd Vice President Ali Osman Taha leaders of civil servants today that Ocampo’s allegations aim at “creating anarchy in the country and sabotaging the development process”.

In March 2005 the UN Security Council (UNSC) invoked its power referring the situation in Darfur to the ICC despite Sudan being a non-State party to the Rome Statute.

Written by torit1955

January 5, 2009 at 5:04 am

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