From: Berhane Habtemariam (Berhane.Habtemariam@gmx.de)
Date: Sun Mar 29 2009 - 12:50:10 EST
Kadhafi slams ICC 'terrorism' in Bashir case
ADDIS ABABA (AFP) - Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi lashed out at the
International Criminal Court on Sunday, saying it represented a "new world
terrorism" as he defended Sudan's indicted President Omar al-Beshir.
Kadhafi, recently elected chairman of the 53-nation African Union, said the
world's first permanent war crimes tribunal was victimising former colonies.
The entire Third World was opposed to the court, which issued an arrest
warrant for Beshir this month, Kadhafi told a press conference at AU
headquarters in the Ethiopian capital.
"It is a known fact that all Third World countries are opposing the
so-called ICC," he said.
"This is the case right now. This court is against the countries colonised
in the past and they want to recolonise now," Kadhafi said.
"It is a practice of a new world terrorism that is not below the standard of
the other terrorism."
The Libyan leader's condemnation followed a call by Arab foreign ministers
on Saturday for the Hague-based ICC to annul the Bashir warrant.
"It is not fair that a head of state should be arrested. If we allow such a
thing... we should also try those who killed hundreds and millions of
children in Iraq and in Gaza," the Libyan leader said.
The ICC issued a warrant for Beshir on March 4, accusing him of crimes
against humanity and war crimes in the western Sudanese region of Darfur.
Many African and Arab states along with key ally China have condemned the
ICC move and called for the warrant to be suspended.
On Saturday, Libya's foreign minister said African states party to the Rome
Statute would withdraw.
Earlier this month, Khartoum called on "friendly" African countries to pull
out of the statute.
Beshir faces five counts of crimes against humanity and two of war crimes.
He is the first sitting president to be issued with a warrant by the ICC.
The AU has argued that the prosecution jeopardised peace efforts in Sudan
and on March 18 chided the UN Security Council for ignoring its requests to
defer the warrant.
The bloc's Peace and Security Commissioner Ramtane Lamamra said they were
awaiting a decision on the issue by Arab leaders meeting Sunday in the
Qatari capital Doha, which Beshir was attending.
"We are about to set up a high-level delegation to go to New York to lobby
the UN Security Council," Lamamra said.
Beshir himself has made foreign trips to Eritrea, Egypt and Libya since the
March 4 ICC arrest warrant.
The ICC has no police force and relies on signatory states to implement
warrants. None of the three countries Beshir visited are parties to the
Kadhafi was due to leave Addis Ababa shortly after his press conference to
join Beshir and other Arab leaders at the Doha summit.
Beshir made the journey earlier Sunday despite Sudan's highest religious
authority, the Committee of Muslim Scholars, issuing a fatwa or edict urging
him not to go.
The United Nations says 300,000 people have died in the six-year-long
conflict between Darfur's ethnic minority rebels and the Arab-dominated
government in Khartoum, which puts the figure at only 10,000.
An estimated 2.7 million more have fled their homes.
Copyright C 2009 AFP.
----[This List to be used for Eritrea Related News Only]----