Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Darfur: Bashir should be given ultimatum to leave or face the consequences

12th March 2009

As the European Parliament has today adopted a resolution on the situation in Darfur, Conservative foreign affairs spokesman Charles Tannock MEP, has called on the UN Security Council to issue an ultimatum to President Bashir: go into exile and stop the killings, or face the full force of international law.

President Bashir's response to his indictment by the International Criminal Court (ICC) was one of defiance. He immediately expelled nearly half the aid workers providing assistance to the innocent victims of the 6-year war in the region.

Dr Tannock said:

"Issuing an arrest warrant against a sitting head of state places the UN Security Council into some uncharted waters. While it is an important and welcome gesture, it will not have any impact unless it is clearly backed up by the resolve of the Security Council.

"It is regrettable that China has been a lone voice in defending Bashir, or more importantly in defending its own economic interests in the region. However, the only way we can bring effect to the gestures of recent weeks is if it is clear Bashir will face the full force of international law.

"The Security Council should give Bashir one last chance to leave the country and stop the killing, in exchange for which they would strike down the indictment. This would not be supporting a climate of impunity for crimes against humanity. Impunity would be allowing him to stay in Sudan and carry on perpetrating massacres of innocent people."