Report calls ICC indictment an opportunity

BRUSSELS, March 4 (UPI) -- An International Crisis Group report released Wednesday calls the International Criminal Court's indictment of Sudan's president an opportunity for peace.

The Belgium-based non-governmental organization released a report calling the ICC's announced indictment Wednesday of Sudanese President Omar Bashir for atrocity crimes a landmark decision recognizing the crimes committed against civilians in Darfur. The report also warns Sudan's ruling National Congress Party from exhibiting aggression in retaliation, the Crisis Group reported.


The report, titled "The ICC Indictment of Bashir: A Turning Point for Sudan?" says the indictment is an opportunity for peace in Sudan and calls on the international community to support the court's decision. Crisis Group officials suggest that sanctions on Sudan be lifted, among other supportive moves by the international community, if the National Congress Party moves toward a real commitment to the peace process.

"For the millions of Darfuri victims, this landmark decision provides independent legal recognition of the massive crimes committed against them, and confirms that there are reasonable grounds to believe that Bashir is personally criminally responsible," Nick Grono, Crisis Group deputy president, said in a statement.

"The international community should affirm its support for the court and insist that Sudan and other countries cooperate with it as required by the U.N. Security Council."


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