ICC to rule on Bashir

Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir speaks to the press following a conference titled 'No for Foreign Interference in Sudan', organized by the International Trade Unions in Khartoum, 06 February 2007. Al-Beshir denied yesterday that Chinese President Hu Jintao passed on US demands over the crisis in Darfur during his visit to Khartoum last week. AFP PHOTO/ISAM AL-HAJ (Photo credit should read Isam Al-Haj/AFP/Getty Images)
Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir speaks to the press following a conference titled 'No for Foreign Interference in Sudan', organized by the International Trade Unions in Khartoum, 06 February 2007. Al-Beshir denied yesterday that Chinese President Hu Jintao passed on US demands over the crisis in Darfur during his visit to Khartoum last week. AFP PHOTO/ISAM AL-HAJ (Photo credit should read Isam Al-Haj/AFP/Getty Images)

KHARTOUM - President Omar al-Bashir, pictured, sought to rally the support of the Sudanese people ahead of a decision by the International Criminal Court on whether to issue a warrant against him for alleged war crimes in Darfur.

KHARTOUM - President Omar al-Bashir, pictured, sought to rally the support of the Sudanese people ahead of a decision by the International Criminal Court on whether to issue a warrant against him for alleged war crimes in Darfur.

The ICC is expected to announce tomorrow if it will issue a warrant on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur, scene of a six-year conflict that has cost several hundred thousands of lives.

"Where was international justice during the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, the bombing of Gaza, and the crimes committed in the prisons of Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib?" Bashir demanded during a mass rally in Khartoum on Sunday.

Huge posters of Bashir have appeared in the streets of Khartoum ahead of the ICC decision, which comes eight months after its chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo recommended the warrant.

"Bashir is the symbol of our dignity and pride," says one poster.

"Ocampo's conspiracy is a desperate attempt to humiliate the Sudanese people," says another. "Ocampo's farce is a conspiracy that is rejected by all."

The UN says that up to 300000 people have died since ethnic minority rebels in the western region took up arms against the Arab-dominated Khartoum regime in 2003.

The Sudan government puts the death toll at 10000.- Sapa-AFP

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