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Gaddafi rejects outside trials for Darfur crimes

4/3/2005 8:33pm

TRIPOLI, April 3 (Reuters) - Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has condemned a U.N. vote to refer Sudanese accused of war crimes in Darfur to the International Criminal Court (ICC) as a blatant violation of Sudan's independence.

"The Sudanese laws are the only ones that apply on Sudanese citizens in Sudan. Sudanese courts are the only ones entitled to try people inside Sudan," said Gaddafi, in a statement reported by state news agency Jana late on Saturday.

Gaddafi enjoys strong links with Khartoum government leaders and their rebel foes in the Darfur region.

The U.N. Security Council on Thursday voted 11-0 to refer alleged crimes against humanity committed during more than two years of rebellion in Darfur to the ICC.

A U.N.-appointed commission said heinous crimes against humanity had taken place in Darfur where tens of thousands have been killed in fighting. It gave a sealed list of 51 accused to the U.N. Secretary-General, recommending they be sent to the ICC for trial.

The list includes senior government and army officials, militia leaders and some rebel and foreign army commanders.

Gaddafi said the Security Council had no right to "mingle in the internal affairs of countries".

"That decision (of the U.N. Security Council) aims at fanning the conflict in Darfur and will not at all help resolve the crisis in that region," he said.

"It is an affront to all Sudanese and a blatant violation of Sudan's independence," Gaddafi added.


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