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US in showdown with France over Darfur court

[JURIST] France and the United States locked diplomatic horns behind closed doors in the UN Security Council Wednesday over which court should try war criminals from the long-troubled Darfur region of Sudan. France, along with eight of the other 15 Security Council members, favors the new International Criminal Court in The Hague; the US, which has opposed the jurisdiction of that court and tried to exempt itself from it at every turn, favors the creation of a special tribunal based in Tanzania. Recognizing the split but trying to encourage Security Council action on the Sudan issue, the US had on Tuesday separated less controversial peacekeeping and sanctions issues and urged that they be voted on first, but France countered by introducing its own omnibus Sudan resolution with the ICC jurisdiction intact, a move that could force the US to either abstain from a vote or exercise a politically-problematic veto. Som eimmediate action on Sudan would seem to be required as the UN faces a Thursday deadline for authorization of a new UN peacekeeping mission to Sudan or extension of the present one. AFP has more.

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