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Thursday, 02/17/2011

Russian envoy questions the worthiness of prosecuting Sudanese president


Thursday, February 17, 2011

February 16, 2011 (WASHINGTON) – The Russian special envoy to Sudan Mikhail Margelov said on Wednesday that his government does not see any use of insisting on prosecuting president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of war crimes and genocide he allegedly orchestrated in Darfur.
Margelov made the remarks to Itar-Tass news agency following a meeting he held with ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo in the Hague today. He further said that the South Sudan referendum that took place last month demonstrated the willingness of Bashir to reach compromises for the sake of normalizing the situation in the country and make it conform with international standards of democracy.
Russian special envoy to Sudan

Nearly 99% of Southern Sudanese voters opted for the creation of their own state separate from the North. The ruling National Congress Party (NCP) head by Bashir announced its recognition of the outcome, a step which earned the Sudanese leader praise by the international community despite the outstanding warrant for him.
The Russian senator also said that mechanisms for executing the arrest warrant for Bashir remain unclear. However, he fell short of calling for a UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution deferring the indictment as demanded by Sudan and the African Union (AU).
Margelov was quoted by the news agency as saying that he agreed with Ocampo on coordinating their steps on the matter of the warrant.
This month Sudanese ambassador to the United Nations called on the UNSC to reward Bashir by dropping the charges against him.
Russia has voted in favor of UNSC resolution 1593 in March 2005 referring the situation in Darfur to the ICC even though the veto wielding member is not a signatory to the court.
The Russian envoy will travel to Sudan this week to take part in the meetings of P-5 special envoys along with the European Union for talks on Darfur hosted by UNAMID.
U.N. officials where U.N. officials estimate that as many as 300,000 people have died since 2003 but Khartoum puts the death toll at 10,000.

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