Q Sudan. The International Criminal Court has added the charges of genocide to the arrest warrant of Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir. There’s a view in Africa, certainly with the African Union, that the pursuit of President Bashir will be undermining or detrimental to the Doha peace process. What’s your view?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, my view is that the ICC has put forward an arrest warrant. We think that it is important for the government of Sudan to cooperate with the ICC. We think that it is also important that people are held accountable for the actions that took place in Darfur that resulted in, at minimum, hundreds of thousands of lives being lost.
And so there has to be accountability, there has to be transparency. Obviously we are active in trying to make sure that Sudan is stabilized; that humanitarian aid continues to go in there; that efforts with respect to a referendum and the possibility of Southern Sudan gaining independence under the agreement that was brokered, that that moves forward.
So it is a balance that has to be struck. We want to move forward in a constructive fashion in Sudan, but we also think that there has to be accountability, and so we are fully supportive of the ICC.
Q Is peace not at risk if he were to present himself to the ICC?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think that peace is at risk if there’s no transparency and accountability of the actions that are taking place, whether it’s in Sudan or anywhere else in the world.