Various Arab organizations and Sudan have criticized the call of an International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for alleged war crimes in Darfur, while Arab foreign ministers are seeking to coordinate stance in this regard.
On Monday, the Interim Arab Parliament (IAP) criticized the ICC move to issue an arrest warrant against al-Bashir, saying it is a shame to see the ICC trying to prosecute a leader of an Arab country.
The IAP is "amazed and dismayed" by reports of the ICC move, which is stirring Arab nations' concern, head of the parliament Mohamed Jassem al-Saqr said in a statement.
The ICC move raises the fear that the international court could become a tool of major world powers to intimidate smaller countries, al-Saqr was quoted by the Egyptian MENA news agency as saying.
According to earlier reports, ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno- Ocampo on Monday formally requested the arrest warrant against al- Bashir, charging him of war crimes, including genocide, in the western Sudanese region of Darfur.
Moreno-Ocampo said there were reasonable grounds to believe that al-Bashir bears criminal responsibility in relation to 10 counts of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
"Al-Bashir masterminded and implemented a plan to destroy in substantial part the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa groups, on account of their ethnicity," the prosecutor claimed, adding members of the three groups were historically influential in Darfur and engaged in a rebellion for fear of marginalization.
The prosecution also charged al-Bashir with crimes against humanity and war crimes including murder, extermination, forcible transfer of civilians, torture and rape.