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He was re-elected president by a landslide in elections in April amid widespread accusations by his opponents and rights groups of fraud, election rigging and intimidation.

The elections were mandated by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005 and part of the process toward a referendum on southern independence scheduled for January.

The Bashir government has expressed its commitment to fully implementing the peace agreement and holding the referendum on time.

According to the joint U.N.-African Union peacekeeping mission, 221 people were killed in Darfur in June. In May, more than 600 people were killed.

Niemat Ahmadi’s voice drops to a whisper as she recalls helplessly watching Janjaweed militia pillage and burn her father’s village in Darfur. The Janjaweed are allegedly backed by the Bashir government.

“I saw people burned alive, children burned alive but there was nothing I could do,” she said. Survivors who returned to the village the next day found only the charred remains of their homes, belongings and loved ones. They were warned of dire consequences by the police if they ever talked about the attack.

The incident took place in 2002, well before the international community awoke to the atrocities being committed in Sudan’s southern province.

Ms. Ahmadi, Darfuri liaison officer at the Save Darfur Coalition, said the new ICC warrant provides “big hope” to the people of Darfur that the “genocide will no longer be ignored.”

She said the international community must ensure that Gen. Bashir’s government does not retaliate against the people of Darfur over the genocide charges. “He is still committing atrocities against my people,” she said. “World leaders must make clear to Bashir that there will be consequences for his actions.”

Gen. Bashir’s government expelled 13 international aid agencies working in Darfur when the court first indicted him.

The Obama administration has been split on how to deal with Gen. Bashir: Scott Gration, the administration’s special envoy for Sudan, is an advocate of engagement with Gen. Bashir’s government, while Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, has pressed for a tougher approach.

Noting that there has been “considerable ambiguity and tension within the U.S. government over its policy approach to Sudan,” Mr. Morrison said the genocide warrant has the potential to exacerbate some of those tensions.

The fact that the U.S. is not a signatory to the ICC undermines its position on ICC warrants, he said.

“Not being a signatory greatly diminishes the leverage we might have and makes it that much easier for Bashir and others to make the case against the ICC,” said Mr. Morrison.

Last year, ICC judges refused to indict Gen. Bashir on genocide charges. The prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo, appealed that ruling, and four months ago an appellate court ruled that the lower court’s decision was legally wrong.

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