- Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has rejected the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against him. The ICC made a historic ruling to indict President Al-Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the war torn Darfur region.
The president who is the first sitting head of state accused of two counts of war crimes and five of crimes against humanity told thousands of Sudanese at a rally in the city's Martyrs Square that a warrant of arrest was a colonialists stunt to get resources without hindrance.
"We will not succumb or kneel to the colonialists,” he said.
Sudan reacted to ICC’s indictment by expelling 13 foreign aid agencies, including Oxfam, Care, Save the Children UK and Medecins Sans Frontieres from Darfur, supplying food, water and other humanitarian assistance to 1.5 million people who have fled their homes during the six-year conflict.
The government accused the aid groups of feeding the ICC false information about the Darfur crisis which led to indictment of President Al-Bashir.
Meanwhile, Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) welcomed the ICC’s ruling, saying it’s a step towards resolving the Darfur’s long dragging political crisis.
The JEM has affirmed its commitment to the Doha Peace Process which the government and the group had started to end insurgency in the troubled region and assured its determination to reach a lasting peace agreement.
It further appealed to all Sudanese people to capitalise on the ruling for a swift move towards genuine democracy, peace, prosperity and unity of the country. “JEM will not hesitate to mobilize its forces against any threat to IDPs, Refugees and innocent families and individuals.” it said in a statement.
The Darfur conflict started in 2003 when ethnic minority rebels took up arms against the Arab-dominated Khartoum government complaining of discrimination and neglect in the Darfur region.
The six year conflict in Sudan has killed more than 300,000 people with more others displaced.
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