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Arab League Head Expected to Deliver Action Plan on Sudan

By VOA News
20 July 2008

Arab League Secretary General Amr Mussa is expected to travel to Sudan Sunday with an action plan designed to defuse the crisis between the Sudanese government and the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Mussa declined to reveal details of the plan ahead of his meeting with officials in Khartoum.

Top Arab League diplomats have criticized the court's chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, for seeking the arrest of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on genocide charges.

The ICC prosecutor has charged Mr. Bashir with masterminding genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Sudan's Darfur region and is asking the court's judges to issue a warrant for the president's arrest.

At Sudan's request, foreign ministers of Arab League countries held an emergency meeting in Cairo on Saturday where they issued a statement calling Moreno-Ocampo's prosecution unbalanced because it does not take into account any Darfur rebel actions.

They also warn that arresting the Sudanese head of state would set a dangerous precedent and could lead to further violence in the region.

The Arab League backed Sudan's insistence on holding trials for Darfur war crimes suspects in Sudan, saying the Arab League and the African Union can help ensure effective justice.

Sudan has refused to surrender two of its citizens suspected in connection with crimes in Darfur to the ICC, arguing that it has never signed an agreement with the Hague-based court.

Arab League ministers also called for concerted international efforts toward a permanent settlement of the Darfur crisis.

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