International court move will complicate Dafur issue, China warns

July 17th, 2008 - 10:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, July 17 (Xinhua) China warned Thursday that the move by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to arrest Sudanese president on genocide charges would complicate the situation in Darfur. Any attempted prosecution of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir by the ICC will further complicate the situation in Darfur and may abort the peace negotiations with the rebels there, foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said at a press conference here Thursday.

“China is deeply concerned about the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) attempted prosecution of the Sudanese leader,” Liu said.

An ICC prosecutor Monday sought the arrest of al-Bashir, charging him with war crimes in Darfur.

Liu said the international community held different views on this issue, noting that countries concerned were discussing the issue within a certain framework.

“China is ready to continue an exchange of views with them on the issue,” the spokesman said.

China proceeds from safeguarding peace and stability of Sudan and realizing peace, stability and development in the Darfur region to handle related issues, the official added.

According to the UN estimates, about 300,000 people have died, directly from attacks or through starvation, and more than 2.5 million fled to refugee camps since fighting erupted in Darfur in 2003 when ethnic rebels took up arms against the Arab-dominated central government.

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