Sudan's Bashir must change or face trial: France
Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir must move quickly to bring peace to the Darfur region or face trial for genocide, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Monday.world Updated: Dec 08, 2008 23:23 IST
Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir must move quickly to bring peace to the Darfur region or face trial for genocide, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Monday.
"His future is in his hands," Sarkozy said in a speech to mark the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
"Either he changes his attitude and the international community can talk to him, or he does not change his attitude and then he will face his responsibilities, notably before the International Criminal Court," Sarkozy said.
"The choice that President Bashir, the Sudanese president, must make is a choice he must make not in the coming weeks but in the coming days," he said.
Judges at the International Criminal Court in The Hague are considering a request by the ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo for a warrant to arrest Bashir for alleged crimes in Darfur.
Moreno-Ocampo has expressed concern that the United Nations Security Council, of which France is one of five permanent members, might hinder investigations.
Arab and African states have proposed invoking Article 16 of the ICC statute, which allows the Security Council to delay investigations for a year or more.
But Sarkozy said that Bashir was running out of options.
"If the Sudanese president does not change his policy, no one will talk to him any more," he said.
(Writing by James Mackenzie)