Sudan's President to Face Genocide Charge

Some fear move out of the Hague could fuel instability in region
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jul 11, 2008 8:50 AM CDT
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, right, meets with visiting delegation of U.N. Security Council ambassadors in Khartoum, Sudan Thursday, June 5, 2008.    (AP Photo/Abd Raouf)
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(Newser) – The International Criminals Court will charge Sudan leader Omar Hassan al-Bashir with genocide Monday in the wake of a five-year campaign of violence that has left hundreds of thousands dead, the Washington Post reports. It will be the first time the court has charged a sitting head of state. But some at the UN worry the move will disrupt peacekeeping and relief efforts in Darfur, perhaps sparking a military backlash against UN and African Union forces.

“The mission is so fragile, it would not take much for the whole thing to come crashing down,” said a UN official, while Sudan’s UN ambassador spoke of “grave repercussions” if the ICC moves forward. But “if the international community stands firm and makes it clear that these kinds of responses will only make matters worse for Bashir...then he will relent,” said the head of a watchdog group.