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Region | Sudan

US Senator says ICC case against Al Bashir has complicated matters

US Senator John Kerry has said the International Criminal Court (ICC) war crimes charges against Sudan's president has 'complicated matters' on Darfur peace efforts.

  • Agencies
  • Published: 11:55 April 18, 2009
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Reuters
  • John Kerry talks to displaced Sudanese women and childrenat a camp in Al Salam camp, north Darfur, on Friday.

El Fasher: US Senator John Kerry has said the International Criminal Court (ICC) war crimes charges against Sudan's president has “complicated matters'' on Darfur peace efforts.

Kerry, however, said the charges against Sudan's Omar Hassan Al Bashir should not stop efforts to resolve the Darfur conflict.

"Of course, there is no question it has complicated matters. We'll just have to see where we go along the road," Kerry said during a visit to Darfur.

However, he said: "The humanitarian issue and the issue of governments working together transcends whatever external factors there may be."

Kerry, leading a congressional delegation to Sudan, said there was an urgent need for a peace deal in the western Darfur region.

"I could feel the anger in there, the frustration and the anger as the years go by, and I think there is a sense of urgency," he said after talks at Al Salam refugee camp.

Kerry made his comments just days after Al Bashir struck a more conciliatory tone by welcoming US President Barack Obama's overtures to the Islamic world.

International experts estimate some 200,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million have been driven from their homes during almost six years of fighting in Sudan's west.

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