Global News Journal
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French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced that if Sudan changes its behavior and actively supports growing international calls for peace in Darfur, Paris would back suspending any indictments the International Criminal Court (ICC) issues against Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir.
Sarkozy made clear there would be strings attached. In a speech to the U.N. General Assembly, the French leader said Sudan would have to “radically” alter its policy towards Darfur, where international experts say at least 200,000 people have died since 2003. It would have to remove a cabinet minister indicted for war crimes in Darfur from the Khartoum government and stop delaying the deployment of international peacekeepers.
Not everyone will laud Sarkozy’s comments on the opening day of the General Assembly.
The New York-based rights watchdog Human Rights Watch (HRW) has already chided the African Union Peace and Security Council for calling on world powers to use their power to put the ICC investigation of Bashir on hold to avoid undermining the stalled peace process in Darfur.