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Snubbing ICC indictment, Sudan’s Bashir to visit Cairo

In defiance of his indictment on war crimes by the International Criminal Court, Sudan’s president Omar Hassan al-Bashir plans to visit Egypt Wednesday, news media reported, two days after he visited Eritrea. In Cairo, Bashir is expected to meet with Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. Although Egypt has frosty relations with Bashir, Cairo is annoyed by ...

In defiance of his indictment on war crimes by the International Criminal Court, Sudan’s president Omar Hassan al-Bashir plans to visit Egypt Wednesday, news media reported, two days after he visited Eritrea. In Cairo, Bashir is expected to meet with Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.

In defiance of his indictment on war crimes by the International Criminal Court, Sudan’s president Omar Hassan al-Bashir plans to visit Egypt Wednesday, news media reported, two days after he visited Eritrea. In Cairo, Bashir is expected to meet with Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.

Although Egypt has frosty relations with Bashir, Cairo is annoyed by the ICC indictment, said a Washington think tank expert on the Middle East. “They think the ICC indictment is counter-productive to getting rid of Bashir,” he said. “It is important to remember that the stability of Sudan is Egypt’s primary security interest because it’s the only place where the head waters of the Nile can be dammed. They hate Bashir, but they don’t see any alternatives to him and they will do everything they can to avoid the destabilization of Sudan.”

Some former U.S. diplomats agree, saying the indictment imperils the humanitarian situation in Darfur and has little chance of resulting in Bashir being sent to the Hague anytime soon. "So far, the result of the International Criminal Court’s issuance of an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity has worsened Darfur’s precarious situation," write former senior State Department official Morton Abramowitz and Natalie Parke in The National Interest. "The Bashir indictment has pitted African and Arab countries against the West on grounds of imperialism, racism and religious bias. Even a Western ally, Turkey, has embraced Bashir. Further attempts at undermining Bashir’s regime will more likely drive a deeper wedge between West and East, North and South."

Yesterday, U.S. officials led by U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice stepped up their criticism of Bashir, and vowed to hold him responsible for any deaths that occur as a result of his decision to expel a dozen humanitarian aid groups from Darfur.

Laura Rozen writes The Cable daily at ForeignPolicy.com.
Tags: ICC, Sudan

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