Prosecutor asks U.N. to press Sudan

The Baltimore Sun

UNITED NATIONS -- The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court told the U.N. Security Council yesterday that Sudan has shown no signs that it will hand over a senior official and a militia leader charged with war crimes, and he asked the council to increase pressure on the regime.

Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo's first report to the council since the court issued the arrest warrants last month underscored the court's delicate position: It must rely on the same government that backs the attacks on civilians in the Darfur region to ensure that Sudanese suspects face international justice.

The court's judges can only issue arrest warrants and must rely on the suspects' governments to enforce them. But if the suspects step across the border, police in other countries can take them into custody.

The Security Council will travel to Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, on June 17 to meet with President Omar al-Bashir.

The Security Council also can impose international sanctions on the government if it does not cooperate with the court, or it can mandate U.N. peacekeepers to carry out the arrests.

The warrants are the first issued by the international court over the conflict in Darfur, which has displaced more than 2 million people and caused more than 200,000 deaths in four years.

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