Arusha,15 July 2008 (FH)— Tanzania, which is the chair of the African Union (AU), has said that any attempt to arrest Sudanese President, Omar Al-Bashir, over Darfur genocide at this particular point in time will prove counterproductive towards peace efforts in the north-African country. A press release by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a copy of which was availed to Hirondelle Agency, stated that the attempt by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to charge Mr Al-Bashir “ as untimely and it will have serious negative consequences to the efforts of finding lasting solution and will complicate the security on the ground.

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It added that the move would also affect the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in the Southern Sudan and the efforts to solve Sudan-Chad crisis.
Alternatively, Tanzania has appealed to the United Nations, which had requested the ICC to investigate in Darfur, to halt the process to allow the political process, which was promising, including deployment of UN-African Union Mission in Darfur.
The ICC Prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Monday presented evidence in The Hague Court, showing that Sudanese President committed the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur.
Three years after the UN Security Council requested him to investigate in Darfur, and based on the evidence collected, the Prosecutor said: ‘’there are reasonable grounds to believe that Al Bashir bears criminal responsibility in relation to ten counts of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.’’
The Prosecution evidence, he said, showed that the Sudanese President masterminded and implemented a plan to destroy in substantial part the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa groups, on account of their ethnicity.
Millions of civilians have been uprooted from lands they occupied for centuries, all their means of survival destroyed and their land inhabited by new settlers. ‘In the camps Al Bashir’s forces kill the men and rape the women. He wants to end the history of the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa people’ said the Prosecutor. ‘I don’t have the luxury to look away. I have evidence’, claimed Moreno-Ocampo.
The Sudanese President, however, has denied the crimes. He says rape does not exist in the Sudan.
The Pre-Trial Chamber I will now review the evidence. If the judges determine that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the named individual committed the alleged crimes, they will decide on the best manner to ensure his appearance in court. The Prosecution has requested an arrest warrant.