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Wikileaks/US embassy cables: China indifferent to Bashir’s prosecution

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Document leaked to Wikileaks whistle-blowing website. Published by the Guardian newspaper, Friday 17 December 2010 21.30 GMT

US embassy cables: China indifferent to Bashir’s prosecution

Wednesday, 03 December 2008, 21:13
C O N F I D E N T I A L USUN NEW YORK 001130
SIPDIS
EO 12958 DECL: 12/02/2018
TAGS PGOV, PREL, PHUM, KPKO, SU, AX, CG, UG
SUBJECT: ICC’S OCAMPO: BASHIR ARREST WARRANT IN JANUARY OR
FEBRUARY
Classified By: Ambassador Alejandro Wolff for reasons 1.4(b) and (d)

1. (C) SUMMARY: ICC Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo on December 2 spoke with Ambassador Wolff at the UN on the situation in Sudan. Ocampo said the arrest warrant for Sudanese President Bashir would be issued in January or February. He said Arab leaders were frustrated with Bashir, and French President Sarkozy should be told it is time to move on Sudan’s president. Bashir won’t turn over indicted Minister Harun, according to Ocampo. He said China, as long as it keeps its oil concessions, does not care what happens to Bashir. Ocampo said arresting Lord’s Resistance Army rebel leader Kony soon would encourage armed groups in both Sudan and the DRC to negotiate. END SUMMARY.

BASHIR ARREST WARRANT IN JANUARY OR FEBRUARY

2. (C) International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo and two ICC officials met with Ambassador Wolff and Poloff on December 2 at the UN. Ocampo expects the ICC to grant his request for the arrest warrant for Sudanese President Bashir "not before January and not after February" 2009. He asked for continued Security Council pressure on Bashir, saying Bashir would seize any perceived weakening of international pressure to further entrench himself.

ARABS FRUSTRATED WITH BASHIR; FRANCE NEEDS CLEAR MESSAGE

3. (C) Ocampo reported Arab League Secretary-General Amre Moussa told him all Arabs were frustrated with Bashir, but Ocampo believes Arabs could not publicly disavow Bashir. Ocampo said Libya thought Bashir was irresponsible. Ocampo also said African leaders were all "hiding behind France," hoping the French would find an exit strategy for Bashir, which, according to Ocampo, was "non-existent." Ocampo said Bashir was politically dead, but France "put him on artificial respiration," and said French President Sarkozy needed to receive a clear message that it was time to move on Bashir. (NOTE: Sarkozy reportedly met with Bashir in Doha November 29. END NOTE). Ocampo said the European Union is doing "nothing."

BASHIR WON’T GIVE UP HARUN

4. (C) When asked by Ambassador Wolff what he expected Bashir to do, Ocampo said Bashir would never turn over indicted Minister of Humanitarian Affairs Harun to the ICC. Ocampo said Bashir’s next steps will depend on Security Council action.

CHINA ONLY WANTS OIL, IT DOESN’T CARE ABOUT BASHIR

5. (C) Ocampo said China, as long as it continues to have oil concessions in Sudan, does not care what happens to Bashir, and would not oppose his arrest if its revenues were not interrupted. Ocampo suggested the United States give China assurances about its oil concessions.

GETTING KONY NOW WILL "BRING THEM BEGGING" TO NEGOTIATE

6. (C) Ocampo said arresting Lord’s Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony in the next month would send a strong signal to the Sudanese leaders and rebels, as well as Laurent Nkunda, leader of the DRC rebel group CNDP. Ocampo said quick action against Kony, under the legal framework of MONUC, would "bring them begging" to the table for negotiations, giving "two quick wins" -one in Sudan, one in the DRC-to the international community.

Wolff

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