According to a story that was published by The Guardian already on Sunday, 14 September, the Security Council may “ask” for a deferral of the prosecution of the Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir pursuant to Art. 16 of the Rome Statute. Good or bad?
In a last-ditch attempt to prevent ICC judges from issuing an arrest warrant for Bashir in the next few weeks, Bashir’s supporters – the Arab League, the African Union, China and Russia – will use the UN General Assembly, beginning on 23 September, to ask the UN Security Council to block the prosecution. They are supported by two countries which were instrumental in instigating the ICC investigation – permanent Security Council members Britain and France.
The ICC prosecutor is confident of his case. His special adviser, Beatrice Le Frapper, said: ‘We share the objective of stopping the crimes in Darfur. But to do so you need justice and security. Unamid will not be able to carry out their tasks if they have to liaise with criminals who are ordering crimes against civilians. The indictment of Bashir contributes towards his becoming a lame-duck President.’ She said the ICC would meet Foreign Secretary David Miliband and his French counterpart, Bernard Kouchner, to outline the ICC’s position on 23 September.