Sudan seeks India’s help against ICC ‘targeting’ its president

NEW DELHI - Attacking the US for its alleged double standards, Sudan Friday sought India’s diplomatic support against International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo’s decision to indict President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on charges of genocide in Darfur.

‘Sudan strongly rejects the decision of the ICC. The targeting of Sudan’s president is political, not judicial,’ Omer Elamin Abdalla, charge d’affaires at the Sudanese embassy, told reporters here.

Repudiating the ICC decision, Abdalla said the indictment of the Sudanese president was done without any first-hand evidence. ‘Moreno-Ocampo or his team never visited Sudan or Darfur,’ he said while describing the ICC as ‘an illegal child of white men’.

Abdalla also charged that the ICC, at the behest of certain western powers, was trying to dismantle the fabric of Sudanese society by sowing the seeds of discord among its citizens.

‘This decision affects the political and economic life of the country,’ he said while adding that Sudan, the largest country in Africa, is neither a party nor a signatory to the Rome Convention, which resulted in the founding of the ICC.

Accusing the US of ‘hidden designs’ of trying to dismember Sudan in the name of concern for the people of Sudan, Abdalla said ‘the US administration and European governments are not morally qualified to lecture us on human rights.

‘These are the last people who should talk about human rights,’ he said.

‘The genocide in Gaza and the killings in Iraq and Afghanistan were committed by the former regime of George Bush. Why don’t they bring Bush to justice?’ he asked.

Drawing a distinction with the West’s policy of ‘double standards’, the Sudanese diplomat sought India’s help in supporting Khartoum over the issue. ‘I believe that in the light of long relationship between India and Sudan, India should support,’ he said.

‘Nehru and Gandhi were known for their struggles for justice and fairness for all people. We believe the Indian people and the Indian government will not fail Nehru and Gandhi,’ he underlined.

Last year, the ICC prosecutor indicted al-Bashir on 10 charges, including three counts of genocide, five of crimes against humanity and two of murder and sought his arrest.

About 300,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million forced from their homes in Darfur since the violence between feuding tribes erupted in 2003, according to UN estimates. Khartoum contests these figures and says that the problem in Darfur was largely a competition for resources among nomads and settlers of the region.


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