Sudan Slams International Court Accusations About Darfur

Sudan's ambassador to the United Nations said Wednesday that the allegations his government is involved in crimes against humanity in Darfur are "fictitious and vicious" and harmful to the prospects of peace in the war-torn country.

Abdalmahmood Abdalhaleem Mohamed accused International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo of destroying the peace process with his charges and demanded he be held accountable.

"We will never submit any of our citizens to be tried in the Hague. Ocampo is destroying the peace process and we demand that this man be held accountable for what he is doing to the peace process in Sudan," Mohamed said.

His comments came a day after Ocampo charged in a report to the U.N. Security Council that "the whole state apparatus" of Sudan is implicated in crimes against humanity in the country's western Darfur region.

A delegation of Security Council ambassadors is currently visiting Sudan to salvage the faltering peace process in the divided country that only ended two decades of civil war between the north and south in a fragile peace deal in 2005.

Mohamed said that while the world was calling for peace in Darfur and rebels were going so far as to attack the capital itself, Ocampo had the temerity to make announcements that would only further encourage the rebels.

"This is very serious and we hold him accountable and responsible for destroying the peace process in our country," he said. "It revealed his professional bankruptcy, he deserves no respect, not to say cooperation, because we are not going to cooperate with him in any form," he said.

The report repeats Ocampo's call, first made in December, for the Security Council to demand that Sudan's government hand over two Sudanese men who have been indicted by the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity.

The treaty that created the court was intended to hold individuals, not entire states, responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity. By accusing Sudan's "whole state apparatus" of helping shield criminals, the prosecutor is implicating some of the highest officials of the government.

Mohamed added that as a sovereign nation, Sudan had a perfectly adequate judicial system to try anyone accused of wrongdoing in Darfur and said several already had been tried and convicted for wrongdoing in the arid western region.

More than 200,000 have died in Sudan's Darfur region and 2.5 million have fled to refugee camps since 2003, when local ethnic African rebels took arms against the Arab-dominated central government, accusing it of discrimination. Sudan denies backing the janjaweed militia of Arab nomads accused of the worst atrocities in the conflict.