(Reuters) – Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir claimed victory over the International Criminal Court on Saturday after it shelved further investigation of war crimes in Darfur, and reaffirmed his hard line on the rebel region.
The Hague-based court indicted Bashir in 2009 for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in suppressing the Darfur revolt.
But the court’s prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said on Friday she was shelving the Darfur investigation for lack of support from the Security Council, the UN body able to take coercive measures that could compel Bashir and co-defendants to face the court.
“They wanted us to kneel before the International Criminal Court but the ICC raised its hands and admitted that it had failed,” Bashir said in a defiant speech.
“The Sudanese people have defeated the ICC and have refused to hand over any Sudanese to the colonialist courts.”
The ICC has also charged Bashir’s defense minister, interior minister and a militia leader.
None has been arrested and Sudan has been shielded from further action at the 15-member Security Council by China, a veto-wielding permanent member.