Libya opposed to prosecution of Sudan's leader for Darfur killing
The Libyan government is opposed to the International Criminal Court's prosecution of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for the killings in Darfur, an official said as the country took over the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council on Tuesday, dpa reported.
Ibrahim Dabbashi, the charge d'affaires of the Libyan mission to the United Nations, said his government is abiding by the African Union's decision to oppose the ICC's planned issuance of an arrest warrant for al-Bashir. Dabbashi presided over the council's first meeting in March in the absence of his ambassador.
The ICC was scheduled to announce on Wednesday at The Hague whether it would issue a warrant to arrest al-Bashir after charging him with war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Darfur's ethnic war.
"We feel that any decisions at all to indict President al-Bashir will complicate the situation (in Darfur), it might have a negative consequence on the peace process in Sudan as a whole," Dabbashi told reporters. He said he made the remarks as a Libyan representative and not as president of the 15-nation council, a position that rotates among the members each month.
Libya and other African countries consider the war in Darfur as a tribal conflict and have rejected charges of mass killing by the international court.
Western governments and the United Nations have charged the Sudanese government with war crimes and crimes against humanity in the conflict pitting Khartoum-backed Arab militias and African rebels. The United States has also branded the killing in Darfur a genocide.
The UN said more than 300,000 people have died in the conflict since 2005. More than 2 million Darfurians have become refugees.
African and Islamic governments have spoken against the ICC's prosecution of al-Bashir, who also rejected accusations that he was responsible for the mass killing in Darfur.