International Court Charges Sudan Prez on Darfur Crimes

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 4, 2009 9:12 AM CST
United Nations peacekeeping troops in Darfur.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The International Criminal Court today issued a warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, charging him with murder, extermination, and rape, among other war crimes and crimes against humanity, the New York Times reports. Prosecutors say orders to kill or displace tribal people in Sudan’s Darfur region, which resulted in 5 years of violence and countless deaths, came from Bashir.

Bashir is also charged with pillaging, and intentionally attacking civilian populations. The international community had been split on whether now was the right time to indict Bashir, given ongoing peace talks in southern Sudan. Proponents of the warrant think it will weaken Bashir domestically and internationally, but no one expects him to be arrested soon.