Charges of Darfur genocide pose no threat to Sudanese leader's rule
Sudan's president has showed no signs of giving in to pressure today for his surrender for war crimes in Darfur.
He has received a lot of support from the Arab and African world, so he's not ready to give in yet - or at all perhaps.
Omar al-Bashir has emerged tarnished but apparently unbeaten after the chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court charged him with orchestrating campaigns that the UN says killed 300,000 people and driven 2.5 million others from their homes in the western province.
"This regime is not in crisis," said Mahjoub Mohammed Saleh, a respected analyst and co-founder of Sudan's independent al-Ayam daily.
Life flowed normally in the capital one day after prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo asked the court for the president's arrest in The Hague, with no mass protests or hasty evacuations of foreigners, UN officials or aid workers.
The UN peacekeeping force in Darfur announced it was temporarily relocating non-essential personnel to neighbouring countries. There were no figures immediately available.
Khartoum's tranquility was marred only by a few hundred vocal al-Bashir supporters rallying outside his palace. Another hundred or so lawyers protested outside the French Embassy in the late afternoon.
Sudan sees France, along with the United States and Britain, as behind what it describes as a campaign of destabilization.
Many Sudanese and even the United Nations, analysts say, want to see the Sudanese president stay in power to revive faltering peace negotiations with Darfur rebels and to make good on his promise to hold what could be Sudan's freest and fairest elections in decades next year.
"The indictment targets the symbol of our sovereignty at a time when Sudan is enjoying unprecedented economic prosperity and political progress," said Fathi Khalil, a prominent member of al-Bashir's ruling National Congress Party.