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Sudan president Bashir threatens to expel diplomats, peacekeepers

[JURIST] Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] on Sunday continued to criticize foreign aid agencies he has expelled from the country, and threatened to expel remaining agencies, diplomats and peacekeepers in Sudan. Bashir has expelled 13 foreign aid agencies [VOA report] from Sudan after the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] last week issued a warrant [text, PDF] for his arrest. Human rights and other groups have urged Bashir [JURIST report] to allow the agencies to remain in the country, and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights [official website] spokesman Rupert Colville has said that his office may investigate [JURIST report] whether Sudan's removal of the groups is a possible breach of human rights law or war crime. Bashir has said that he remains committed [JURIST report] to a peace deal his government has with opposition groups in the country despite the warrant, but warned that foreign nationals still in Sudan would have to obey his government or also face expulsion.

The ICC's warrant against Bashir includes [decision, PDF; JURIST report] seven counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The controversial arrest warrant [JURIST news archive] had been sought by ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official profile], who in July filed preliminary charges [text, PDF; JURIST report] against Bashir alleging genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes committed in the Darfur region in violation of Articles 6, 7, and 8 of the Rome Statute [text]. The ICC announced last week [JURIST report] that they would decide whether to issue an arrest warrant on Wednesday. The announcement came after the New York Times reported [NYT report] last month that the warrant had been issued, leading a court official quickly to issue a denial [JURIST report].

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