U.S. in conflict with Europeans on Darfur war crimes trials
The United States is rejecting European proposals urging that the International Criminal Court prosecute Sudanese responsible for war crimes in the Darfur region of that country. Instead, the administration is pushing for a tribunal run by Africans, perhaps making use of the facility in Tanzania where trials growing out of the Rwanda genocide are taking place, a senior official said. The official, asking not to be identified, also said a U.N. commission examining the Darfur situation is not expected to classify the humanitarian crisis there as genocide. The commission likely will use language such as "grievous war crimes" or similar wording to describe the nearly two-year campaign by government-backed Arab militias against black African farmers in Darfur. In September, Secretary of State Colin Powell concluded that the abuses in Darfur constituted genocide. His finding was based on interviews by U.S. diplomats with hundreds of Darfur residents who have been uprooted from their homes. The Bush administration is eager for perpetrators of the abuses to be tried by a war crimes tribunal but strongly opposes the ICC as the venue.
Posted by: Fred 2005-01-22