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ICC chief prosecutor to seek arrest warrants for Darfur rebel leaders

[JURIST] Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official profile] said Friday at a meeting of states party to the ICC treaty [press release] that he would seek arrest warrants for the leaders of rebel groups in Sudan's Darfur region [JURIST news archive]. The arrest warrants sought by Moreno-Ocampo relate to a September 2007 attack [BBC report] by anti-government rebels in Darfur against African Union (AU) [official website] peacekeeping troops. The warrants would be the prosecutor's third line of inquiry into war crimes in Darfur, following the issuance of arrest warrants [ICC materials] last year for former Sudanese Minister of the Interior Ahmed Muhammad Harun and former militia leader Ali Kushayb [TrialWatch profiles], and prosecutor's application last July for the issuance of an arrest warrant [JURIST report] for Sudan President Omar al-Bashir [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] for war crimes committed in Darfur. AFP has more.

Last July, Moreno-Ocampo announced [JURIST report] that he had widened his investigation into Darfur war crimes to include activities by rebel groups. His application for an arrest warrant for al-Bashir has caused considerable tension between the ICC and the Arab world. Last week, Egypt sought to delay formal ICC charges against al-Bashir [JURIST report], arguing that interfering in the Darfur peace process would be detrimental to potential peace in the region. Last Wednesday, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Edmond Mulet said issuing an arrest warrant for al-Bashir could “derail” the peace process [JURIST report]. Last month, ICC judges gave Moreno-Ocampo one month [JURIST report] to submit "additional supporting materials in relation to some confidential aspects" of his application.

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