COMESA urges ICC to suspend warrant of arrest on Sudanese president
Published: Jun 09, 2009 10:42 AM Updated: May 25, 2011 12:48 PM

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) has urged the International Criminal Court to suspend its warrant of arrest on Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir and promote dialogue between Sudan and Chad to address the crisis.

A communique released by African leaders at the end of the two-day COMESA summit read: "We express concern on the ICC indictment against Bashir and endorse the position of the AU Peace and Security Council for the UN to urge the ICC to suspend the indictment."

Bashir was issued with an arrest warrant for alleged crimes against humanity in Sudan's conflict-ridden Darfur region. But Bashir has defied the warrant and has so far travelled to a number of countries that include Egypt, Ethiopia and Libya.

Addressing the summit earlier, the Sudanese president blamed unwarranted international interference for fueling conflict in Darfur.

He told the summit that the problems in Darfur were internal, warning the international community to stay away.

"The people of Sudan have a strong desire to live in peace," he said, adding that this was, however, not possible due to various obstacles intended to impede our progress through foreign interference.

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