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AU leaders agree not to cooperate with Sudan president arrest warrant

[JURIST] The African Union (AU) [official website] will not cooperate with International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] efforts to extradite Sudan President Omar al-Bashir [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], the AU announced Friday during an AU summit [official website] in Libya. AU members said that by issuing a warrant for al-Bashir's arrest, the ICC jeopardized the peace process [Reuters report] in Sudan. As signatories to the Rome Treaty, 30 of the 53 AU countries are bound by the ICC's warrant to arrest al-Bashir if he enters their country. Sudan says that Friday's resolution allows Bashir to travel [Reuters report] anywhere in Africa.

Prosecutors at the ICC announced Monday that they would pursue genocide charges against Bashir, appealing March's decision by the ICC to charge al-Bashir [JURIST report] with war crimes and crimes against humanity but not genocide. The prosecution sought leave of the court in March to appeal the ICC's decision not to indict al-Bashir on three counts of genocide. Some African leaders criticized the warrant [JURIST report] at the time, fearing it could stall the peace process. 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 al-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].

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