Sudan Turns to Turkey for Help Dodging Genocide Charges

Sudan appealed to Turkey seeking support for a bid to save Sudanese President Omar El-Bashir from being arrested by the International Criminal Court (ICC), officials said.

ANKARA (Hurriyet)–Sudan appealed to Turkey Tuesday for support in a bid to save Sudan’s leader from being arrested by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the crime of genocide.

The ICC issued a warrant for the arrest of Sudan’s president Monday on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity in the country’s Darfur region. The warrant had been requested by the chief prosecutor of the ICC in July, 2008.

Sudanese Vice-President Ali Osman Mohammed Taha paid an official visit to Ankara Tuesday and met Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for talks on how to avoid the warrant.

During the meeting Taha asked Erdogan to block any possible attempts against Al-Bashir that might come to the agenda of the United Nations Security Council. Turkey was elected in October as a non-permanent member of the Council for two years.

The ICC was established by the Rome Statute signed in 1998 by more than 130 countries, of which 106 have ratified the convention setting up the court.

The U.N. Security Council in 2005 asked the ICC to investigate the genocide in Darfur with the support of the United States, China and Russia — three of the five U.N. Security Council permanent members with veto power — despite their rejection of the court. The other two permanent members — France and Britain — have ratified the convention.

The UN estimates the up to 300,000 people have been killed and 2.7 million forced to flee their homes as a result of the genocide perpetrated by the Sudanese Leader.

Sudan says 10,000 people have died and denies charges that its soldiers and allied militiamen committed war crimes and genocide there.

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