Ethiopia and Egypt have called on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to suspend International Criminal Court (ICC) investigations against Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir.
The call was made by top diplomats of the respective countries at the UN. Omar al-Bashir is wanted by the ICC on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The two diplomats were reacting to a report presented to the UNSC by the ICC prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, urging the council to expedite action on the situation in Sudan.
The South Sudan Tribune reports that the Ethiopian Ambassador to the UN, Tekeda Alemu expressed disappointment at how the ICC was conducting its activities. “The Council should do its part, including by exerting pressure on armed movements to put an end to the suffering of the people of Darfur,” Alemu said whiles calling on rebel groups in the Dafur region to lay down their arms.
“The case against the president of Sudan is so weak, its continuation makes no sense, in fact, it will only damage the credibility of this council. For the lack of action concerning the matter will be not consistent with the primary responsibility that the council has for the international peace and security,” he concluded.
For his part, Egypt’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Amr Abdellatif Aboulatta, reechoed the call for ICC proceedings against al-Bashir to be suspended.
“The Court must be careful not to jeopardise peace and security on the African continent,” he is quoted to have said.
The war in Darfur is a major armed conflict in the region, it began in February 2003 when the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) rebel groups began fighting the government, which they accused of oppressing Darfur’s non-Arab population.
The ensuing clashes resulted in massive deaths and displacement, the reason for which the Sudanese leader, Omar al-Bashir is wanted by the ICC on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.