President: No Sudanese to be tried by ICC

May 12, 2005 at 9:14 AM

KHARTOUM, Sudan, May 12 (UPI) -- Sudan President Omar Bashir said he would not allow his people to stand trial before the International Criminal Court for crimes committed in Darfur.

"We utterly reject turning over Sudanese citizens to the international court regardless of the circumstances ... even if international troops were outside the gates of Khartoum," Bashir told al-Jazeera TV Wednesday night.

Bashir was commenting on U.N. Security Council Resolution 1593, which referred the issue of human rights violations in the war-torn province of Darfur in Western Sudan to the International Criminal Court.

The United Nations has a list of 51 suspected war criminals including officials in the Sudanese government.

Bashir said his government is not seeking a confrontation with the international community or the United States, "but there is a ceiling for dealing with the resolution which is unjust and unfair."

He said Sudan "will have no alternative but to fight back if a confrontation is imposed."

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