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Sudan: Top Envoy Misquoted On ICC, Says UN Mission

New York, Dec 25 2008 1:10PM

The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Sudan said today that the world body's top envoy to the African nation has not made remarks about the International Criminal Court (ICC) attributed to him by newspapers in Khartoum.

According to the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), these appear to be derived from a recent erroneous and misleading report on the website, which the mission has already requested be retracted.

Ashraf Qazi, the Secretary-General's Special Representative, has never predicted a date for any action by the ICC, an independent institution, UNMIS said in a statement.

In 2005, the Security Council referred the situation in the war-ravaged Sudanese region of Darfur to the Court.

To date, three cases have arisen from the situation. Last May, the ICC's pre-trial chamber issued arrest warrants for Ahmad Harun, former Sudanese Minister of State for the Interior and now the Minister of State for Humanitarian Affairs, and Ali Kushayb, a Janjaweed leader.

The Court is also examining Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo's application filed in July for an arrest warrant against President Omar al-Bashir for alleged war crimes, including genocide, in Darfur.

In November, Mr. Moreno-Ocampo presented evidence against three rebel commanders for their role in deadly attack in December 2007 that killed 12 peacekeepers serving with the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) -- a predecessor to the joint UN-AU mission known as UNAMID -- and wounding eight others.

Some 300,000 people are estimated to have been killed across Darfur, an impoverished and arid region of western Sudan, as a result of direct combat, disease or malnutrition since 2003. Another 2.7 million people have been displaced because of fighting among rebels, Government forces and the allied Janjaweed militia.

Dec 25 2008 1:10PM

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