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Sudan's president to be charged over Darfur

The International Criminal Court at the Hague is about to make history by indicting Sudan's President Omar  Hassan al-Bashir for alleged crimes in Darfur, according to The New York Times.

The ICC action will be the first against a sitting head of state. The international court has collected evidence that supports charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide against al-Bashir for allegedly directing a military campaign in Sudan's Darfur region that has "purposefully targeted civilians."

Up to 300,000 people have died from massacres, disease and starvation, according to the United Nations. The U.N. Security Council asked the ICC prosecutor to investigate Sudan's government over its campaign in Darfur.

The news of the impending indictment comes after al-Bashir reportedly shouted at U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia at the summit of the African Union. In an unscheduled meeting al-Bashir angrily castigated Ban for the U.N.'s investigation into his movement.

Al-Bashir's government in Khartoum still has the support of many African heads of state and the ICC action against him is expected to divide opinion on the continent. Al-Bashir has long been a controversial ruler. The civil war he waged against southern Sudan caused the deaths of an estimated 2.2 million people before peace was finally negotiated in 2005. Many African analysts fear that an indictment will provoke al-Bashir to order even more deadly attacks on the Darfuri people.

The Save Darfur coalition welcomed the news of the possible indictment, charging that al-Bashir is responsible for the deaths of Sudanese civilians as well as international health workers.

http://www.globalpost.com/notebook/africa/090211/sudans-president-be-charged-over-darfur