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Sudan slams UN call for president's arrest

Sudan has strongly criticised the United Nations over reported calls by the UN secretariat-general to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and hand him over to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Al-Bashir, who recently attended an Arab League summit in Jordan, is wanted by The Hague-based tribunal for war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in western Sudan's troubled Darfur region.

According to reports in the media, Farhan Haq, a spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, had called on the Jordanian authorities to arrest al-Bashir and hand him over to the ICC.

Speaking to reporters Thursday upon his return to Sudan from Jordan, Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour blasted the UN spokesman's reported request, calling on the world body to respect UN General Assembly members and their respective heads of state.

"We reject these statements [by the UN spokesmen]," he said. "The UN has no mandate to talk about the ICC."

"Sudan is a UN member state and should enjoy all the rights of UN membership," Ghandour added.

He went on to say that Haq's reported request to the Jordanian authorities for al-Bashir's arrest "contradicts the friendly spirit between Sudan and the UN".

The Sudanese authorities, he added, plan to launch an inquiry "to determine why [Haq] said this and whether it represents an isolated incident or official UN policy".

Ghandour also asserted that the ICC had no authority over Sudan, which is not a member of the 1998 Rome Statute from which the ICC's legitimacy derives.

The Sudanese FM went on to accuse the ICC of unfairly targeting African leaders "with a view to destabilising African states".

AfricaArab LeagueInternational OrganisationsJordanMiddle EastNewsSudan
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