ICC prosecutor criticizes Sudan expulsion of aid workers

ICC prosecutor criticizes Sudan expulsion of aid workers

[JURIST] Chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official profile] said Friday that the decision by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] to expel 13 foreign aid agencies [JURIST report] earlier this month demonstrates that the ICC is justified in pursuing war crimes charges [JURIST report] against Bashir. Ocampo's statement [AP report] came after a meeting [press release] of the UN Security Council [official website], which was held to address concerns over the removal of the aid agencies and to urge the Sudanese government to reconsider the expulsion. Bashir accused [Reuters report] the aid groups of complicity with the ICC, after the ICC issued a controversial arrest warrant for Bashir based on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Ocampo has denied receiving any information from the agencies in Sudan.

Bashir has also threatened to expel [JURIST report] any remaining agencies, diplomats and peacekeepers in Sudan. Human rights and other groups had 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.