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Sunday, March 8, 2009

Bashir threatens more diplomat expulsion

Sun, 08 Mar 2009 15:56:40 GMT | PressTV

Al-Bashir warned on Sunday that Sudan would expel diplomats, aid groups and peacekeepers that it deemed as in break of national law.
Sudan's leader threatens to expel more diplomats and aid bodies from the country, in wake of his ICC indictment over alleged war crimes.

Although President Omar al-Bashir has ridiculed the warrant against him issued by the International Criminal Court on charges of 'war crimes and crimes against humanity', he has shown a growing impatience with foreign officials and organizations in the East African nation.

"I have a message to all the diplomatic missions in Sudan, the non-governmental organizations and the peacekeepers," al-Bashir warned on Sunday during a visit to the conflict-torn Darfur region.

"They have to respect the rule of the country. If anyone goes further than the rule of the country, we will kick them out directly," the leader added while waving a cane at the crowd of supporters.

Sudan closed down 10 aid agencies, including such respected organizations as Oxfam and Doctors Without Borders - Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) - hours after the ICC announcement on Friday.

The license of three more agencies has been revoked since, with the president dubbing the closed down bodies 'spies' and 'thieves'.

The UN estimates suggest that some 300,000 people have been killed and 2.7 million displaced in Darfur since the start of the conflict in 2003. Khartoum, however, puts the number at only 10,000.

The ICC's controversial move to issue its first warrant against an incumbent head of state followed a request by the court's chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo to try al-Bashir on 10 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

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