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Darfur Tribes Reject ICC Charges

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    African tribal leaders warned that the ICC charges against Bashir would worsen the situation in the war-wracked region. Darfur Tribes Reject ICC Bashir Charges
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 3, 2008
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      African tribal leaders warned that the ICC charges against Bashir
      would worsen the situation in the war-wracked region.


      Darfur Tribes Reject ICC Bashir Charges
      By Ismail Kamal Kushkush, IOL Correspondent
      http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?
      c=Article_C&cid=1216208255519&pagename=Zone-English-News/NWELayout


      KHARTOUM — Darfur's African tribes have criticized International
      Criminal Court (ICC) charges against Sudanese President Omar al-
      Bashir, warning the accusations would further worsen the agony of
      the Darfuri people.

      "We denounce his [Ocampo's] decision," Sultan Mansur Dousa, of the
      Zaghawa tribe, told IslamOnline.net, referring to ICC chief
      prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo.

      "We don't want the ICC to interfere in Darfur."

      Last month, Moreno-Ocampo charged Bashir of committing genocide and
      war crimes in Darfur.

      He said that Bashir has "masterminded" a plan to wipe out Darfur's
      major African tribes, the Fur, Zaghawa and Masalit.

      "We did not assign Ocampo to speak on behalf of the Masalit; this is
      an internal issue," said Taha Taj al-Din of the Masalit tribe.

      "People have more of a right to address their own affairs than
      others."

      Sultan Sa'd Bahr al-Din, who governors the Dar Masalit district in
      West Darfur state, acknowledges that the African tribes were worse
      affected by the Darfur conflict.

      "But all tribes were hurt by the war, even Arab ones," he said.

      The Darfur conflict broke out in 2003 when rebels took up arms
      against the Khartoum regime accusing it of discrimination.

      The UN estimates some 300,000 people have died in the conflict,
      while Khartoum puts the death toll at 10,000.

      Up to 2 million have been forced out of their homes in the region
      the size of France, in one of the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

      "I am a patriot like many Sudanese; an attack on the president is an
      attack on all of Sudan," said Bahr al-Din.

      The UN Security Council adopted Thursday a resolution raising
      concerns about ICC moves to Bashir for genocide.

      The resolution said that the council would be willing to discuss
      freezing any ICC indictment of Bashir for genocide in the interest
      of peace in Darfur.

      Most Western powers accepted the resolution's wording but Washington
      rejected the section on the ICC and abstained from voting.

      Agony

      African tribal leaders warned that the ICC charges against Bashir
      would worsen the situation in the war-wracked region.

      "I think that Ocampo's decision will make matters more complicated;
      it does not help," said Mahmud Ishaq Ateem of the Fur tribe.

      "It will inflame the Darfur issue."

      Ateem, who is the mayor of Kabkabia in North Darfur State, believes
      that the ICC indictment against Bashir would disrupt efforts to
      bring about peace in Darfur.

      "There are attempts to negotiate and make peace with the rebel
      groups; this is not a good time for such an act."

      Taj al-Din, of the Masalit tribe, believes that Sudanese courts can
      try those committing crimes in Darfur.

      "Trials against individuals who have committed crimes in Darfur have
      taken place and some were even executed," he said.

      Sultan Dousa, of the Zaghawa tribe, agrees.

      "We have always had problems and issues and we've always had judges
      and lawyers to solve these problems," he said.

      `Umda Ateem of the Fur tribe said that Sudanese courts have created
      several committees to investigate crimes committed in Darfur.

      "Investigators told us that even if an egg was stolen from you we
      want to know about it," Ateem said.

      "But the process has been slow."

      Sultan Bahr al-Din, the Dar Masalit governor, said achieving peace
      in Darfur should be a priority for all parties.

      "We in Darfur are in need of peace with the help of our Arab,
      African and Muslim brethren; not foreign interference.

      "If we all purify our intentions we can achieve so."

      *********************************************************************

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