A matter of time before Beshir faces justice: prosecutor

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The International Criminal Court prosecutor said Thursday Sudan's Omar al-Beshir would eventually be brought to justice after the president ignored a genocide warrant to visit Chad.

"It is just a matter of time, he will eventually have to travel to The Hague and face justice," Luis Moreno-Ocampo told AFP.

"There is no victory where genocide is concerned. 2.5 million victims in Darfur are under attack. President Beshir should not be proud. He remains a fugitive suspect."

The visit to Chad is Beshir's first to a country that recognises the ICC, which has charged the Sudanese leader with genocide and war crimes.

Beshir was greeted by President Idriss Deby Itno when he arrived in Chad on Wednesday.

Chadian Foreign Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat said Beshir had "nothing to worry about" as he attended a meeting Thursday of the Community of Sahel-Saharan States.

The ICC has issued two arrest warrants for Beshir, both relating to atrocities committed Sudan's western Darfur region, but with no police force the court depends on member states to enforce its orders.

The first warrant was issued in March 2009 on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Those charges were extended to genocide in a second warrant issued by the ICC earlier this month.

Darfur has been gripped by a civil war since 2003 that has killed at least 300,000 people and left 2.7 million homeless, according to the United Nations. Khartoum says 10,000 have been killed.

© 2010 AFP

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