Bashir warns any ICC move could affect investment

August 27, 2008 12:00 am

, JUBA, August 27 – Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir warned on Wednesday that possible legal proceedings against him by the International Criminal Court will damage foreign investment in the oil-rich country.

The head of state spoke during a rare visit to semi-autonomous southern Sudan, which fought a 21-year civil war against Beshir’s government and where he made a defiant call for unity against the ICC.

"Sudan is a vibrant country with a vibrant economy," Bashir told a news conference in remarks later translated into English by a southern official.

"But of course we know there is a negative mass media campaign mounted against Sudan and of course what the ICC is doing will affect some of the investors who are interested seriously to come to invest in Sudan," he said.

Last month, the chief ICC prosecutor accused Bashir of masterminding a genocidal campaign in Darfur and requested an arrest warrant on 10 charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Rebels in Sudan’s western region of Darfur first rose up against Bashir’s regime in 2003, fighting for resources and power – similar motives to those that inspired decades of southern rebellion.

Bashir last visited Juba in January 2007 when he and First Vice President Salva Kiir, the former rebel who leads the south, traded accusations over failures in implementing the 2005 agreement that ended 21 years of civil war.

"We will not deal with it or respond to it (the ICC)," Bashir said.

"All its resolutions, let them just soak them into water and drink them," he added in the comments translated by an official at the regional parliament.


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