Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat – Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak held High-level talks with Ali Othman Taha, Sudan’s second vice president, after which the Sudanese official left for Saudi Arabia for consultations with Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin-Abdulaziz about the repercussions of the decision by the International Criminal Court’s [ICC] prosecutor to arrest President Al-Bashir.
Regarding the impact of the prosecutor’s decision on the relationship with the United Nations, particularly following the southern leaders’ threats to expel the UN forces in the south, Taha told Asharq Al-Awsat,”We are now mobilizing diplomatic and political support to prevent the decision to arrest President Al–Bashir because implementation will have catastrophic effects on the overall situations in the region and not just Sudan.” He warned that the same fate would befall the UN forces’ presence in the south and would impact on the UN’s relations with Sudan, in particular the implementation of the peace agreement signed in Nevasha in 2005.
Asked if Sudan was counting on a Chinese veto to prevent any arrest decision, Taha told Asharq Al-Awsat, “We are counting on any veto and the important thing is to contain the crisis before the dangers encircle all of us, that is, the UN and the international community.”
On the results of the meeting with President Mubarak, the Sudanese second vice president said he conveyed to the president a message from Al-Bashir dealing with the developments in the situations resulting from the prosecutor’s allegation against President Al-Bashir and added, “We also conveyed to President Mubarak the Sudanese Government’s diplomatic and legal efforts.” He mentioned that Sudan was pressing ahead in its moves to nullify the allegation by calling for an investigation on the ground and pointed out that President Al-Bashir’s visit to Darfur and meeting with its sons were a clear message to the world confirming that the state is connected to its citizens and that the people of Darfur reject the false allegation. He added that he received from President Mubarak assurances that Egypt is standing with Sudan by acting internationally and coordinating with the Sudanese Government so as to close this dossier and enable Sudan to reach the stage of comprehensive peace that protects its stability and sovereignty.
Asked whether the government’s national internal trials of those who proved to be involved in Darfur would lead to the suspension of the ICC’s decision, he said, “Political history taught us that those responsible for the conflict must be punished when the settlement’s stages are completed. But now the tension continues and trials of individuals cannot be held. Yet the Sudanese Government is going ahead with bringing to account and punishing those who caused the crisis.” He added, “All the missions that came to Darfur, starting with the international fact-finding commission, the Arab League committee, and the local human rights committees, did not refer to genocide. The Sudanese Government stressed it supported a political settlement and held several national trials and jail, compensation, and blood money sentences were issued. During Arab League Secretary General Amr Musa’s visit to Sudan, we agreed to continue the national trials and investigations. The government stressed it would comply with the principle of accountability according to the legal criteria and all these are done within a framework that helps a settlement.”