* Arrest warrant issued for Abdel Raheem Muhammad Hussein
* Faces 41 counts of crimes against humanity, war crimes
* Sudan "not concerned" with the ICC decision -official
* Hussein coordinated and armed militia -court (Adds comments from Sudanese
AMSTERDAM, March 1 (Reuters) - The International Criminal Court issued an
arrest warrant on Thursday for Sudanese Defence Minister Abdel Raheem
Muhammad Hussein as part of investigations into atrocities in Darfur.
Hussein is the latest of several senior officials in Sudan to be indicted by
the court at The Hague. Among others, it is seeking the arrest of President
Omar Hassan al-Bashir on charges of orchestrating genocide. All, however,
remain at large.
The court said in a statement that there were sufficient grounds to hold
Hussein responsible for 20 counts of crimes against humanity, including
persecution and rape, and 21 counts of war crimes, including murder and
attacks on civilians.
Sudan dismissed the ICC move.
"We are not concerned with the court and the decisions that come out of it.
We, like the United States and Russia, are not signatories to the Rome
Statute governing the court," foreign ministry spokesman Al-Obeid Meruh
The decision was a "political move because it comes from the Security
Council, a body that is based on the international balance of power rather
than the balance of justice", he said.
The United Nations has said as many as 300,000 people have died in the
Darfur conflict. Khartoum puts the death toll at 10,000.
The ICC prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, said in December that Hussein was
wanted for crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Darfur from
August 2003 to March 2004.
As interior minister and special government representative in Darfur,
Hussein "made essential contributions" to a plan of attacking insurgents in
the region, coordinating, arming and funding forces, the court said.
Hussein's arrest was needed, it said, to guarantee his appearance at trial
and to make sure he does not obstruct or endanger the investigations.
Hussein is one of Bashir's closest allies and is leading a campaign against
rebels in the south. (Reporting by Gilbert Kreijger in Amsterdam and Khaled
Abdel Aziz in Khartoum; Editing by Anthony Deutsch and Alastair Macdonald)
JUBA, March 1 (Reuters) - South Sudan accused Khartoum on Thursday of
bombing two oil wells in the north of the new nation and moving troops and
weaponry close to an army base near the poorly defined border.
A Sudanese official denied the allegations. Relations between Sudan and the
South have deteriorated in recent months as talks about border disputes and
oil transportation fees have floundered, causing the South to shut down oil
Each side has repeatedly blamed the other for flare-ups around the border
South Sudan's government spokesman Barnaba Marial Benjamin said two MiG
aircraft dropped six bombs on oil fields in Unity State on Wednesday,
violating a non-aggression pact signed by the two countries last month.
"We will launch a very strong protest to the (United Nations) Security
Council and we condemn this warlike attitude on the part of Sudan," Benjamin
He said there were no casualties in the attack roughly 74 km (46 miles) from
the border that destroyed two well-heads and flow lines as well as two cars.
The Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company, a Chinese/
Malaysian/Indian-owned consortium, runs the oil fields that South Sudan said
In Khartoum, Sudan's military spokesman Al-Sawarmi Khalid said Sudanese
forces had not been involved in any bombing inside the south.
South Sudan has accused the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) of bombing several
areas of its territory since it gained independence in July last year,
including two refugee camps.
"They would like to drag the republic of South Sudan into war, a war we are
not interested in," Benjamin said.
South Sudan voted overwhelmingly to secede last year, the culmination of a
2005 peace agreement that ended decades of civil war.
At partition, three-quarters of Sudan's known oil reserves fell in South
Sudan's territory but the two did not agree on how much the Juba should pay
to use oil export and processing facilities in Sudan.
South Sudan's army spokesman Philip Aguer said Sudanese forces were
assembling near a base in an area close to the disputed border in Unity
"Yesterday evening SAF have been moving forces, heavy machine guns and
vehicles to within 500 metres of an (army) base in Peshwien, very close to
the border which we are waiting to be demarcated," he said. Sawarmi
dismissed the report.
Sudan regularly accuses Juba of offering support to the Sudan Revolutionary
Front (SRF), an umbrella group for militias seeking to unseat the government
in Khartoum. (Additional reporting by Khaled Abdel Aziz in Khartoum; Editing
by Edmund Blair and Robert Woodward)
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Received on Thu Mar 01 2012 - 17:23:43 EST