From the AP:
China said Tuesday it was concerned about an International Criminal Court prosecutor’s decision to seek an arrest warrant for Sudan’s president on charges of genocide in the African country’s war-torn Darfur region.
Monday’s indictment marked the first time prosecutors at the world’s first permanent war crimes tribunal have issued charges against a sitting head of state, though President Omar al-Bashir is unlikely to face trial any time soon.
“The ICC’s actions must be beneficial to the stability of the Darfur region and the appropriate settlement of the issue, not the contrary,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told a regular news conference.
Liu said China would continue to consult with other members of the U.N. Security Council about whether to block the International Criminal Court from issuing the arrest warrant, but said he “cannot speculate” what the results of the talks will be.
“This presents China with many quandaries,” said He Wenping, an Africa expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a leading think-tank in Beijing.
“It will have many consequences that China won’t like. Our own peacekeepers could be threatened, and also this will seriously impede China’s space to mediate over Darfur and encourage dialogue between Sudan and the West.”
Liu confirmed that 172 Chinese peacekeepers will head to Darfur on Wednesday, bringing all of its 315 promised peacekeepers into place.
He Wenping and other observers did not expect China to move on its own to hold off the ICC, especially with Beijing determined to burnish its international image with the August Olympics.
From the BBC:
The Sudanese government has responded angrily after an international prosecutor accused President Omar al-Bashir of genocide in Darfur.
Sudan’s UN envoy said the International Criminal Court had no jurisdiction in Sudan and that it would not co-operate. Vice-President Ali Osman Taha said the evidence was false and indicated Sudan could try to halt the court’s work.
Sudan’s ambassador to the UN, Abdalmahmood Abdalhaleem Mohamad, told the BBC that Mr Bashir viewed the charges as a “political statement” and had no intention of co-operating with the ICC.
He criticised ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo for indicting the president, whom he said had brought about a peace agreement to end Sudan’s civil war.
Also see previous CDT posts: