- Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir warrant of arrest on alleged genocide charges by International Criminal Court could derail peace process that ended two decades civil war, United Nations official has said.
Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Edmond Mulet told UN Security Council request by prosecutor of International Criminal Court for an arrest warrant against al-Bashir could have serious security and other implications for UN peacekeepers.
ICC chief prosecutor sought a warrant against president Bashir in July, but Mr Bashir rejected allegations and has lobbied to delay the investigation on the case.
Sudanese officials said an arrest could also trigger uncontrollable reaction on UN-African Union peacekeepers in Darfur (UNAMID). Officials further said mission could be expelled if the judges indict president Bashir.
Mr Mulet told UN Security Council that peacekeepers from a joint African Union-UN force could be expelled from Darfur if such a warrant was issued, saying separate UN peacekeeping force, UNMIS, in semi-autonomous South Sudan could be targeted.
"It could potentially derail the CPA process," he said, referring to 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended 20 years of civil war that resulted in the deaths of some 2 million people across Africa's largest country.
"We are concerned about suggestions of an uncontrolled reaction to an indictment by the population against UNMIS," he said.
UN officials said if UNMIS is expelled from Abyei, northern and southern Sudanese troops might resume fighting over the region in a bid to seize control of the oil.
In July, ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo charged Bashir with orchestrating a campaign of genocide in the Darfur region beginning in 2003, that is said to have killed 35,000 people outright and at least another 100,000 through starvation and disease.
The charges include war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. UN officials say the Darfur conflict has left as many as 300,000 dead and 2.5 million homeless since mostly non-Arab rebels took up arms against government in 2003.
United Nations has a 9,200-strong peacekeeping force deployed in semiautonomous southern Sudan to enforce a 2005 agreement which ended Africa's longest civil war, and it has a joint UN-African Union force in Darfur now totaling about 11,500 troops.
UN estimates that up to 2.7 million people have been forced from their homes and some 300,000 have died during five years of conflict in Darfur.
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