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[Published: Friday March 06 2009]

Mbeki to investigate Darfur human rights violations

Khartoum, 06 March-(ANA)-The African Union has appointed former South African President Thabo Mbeki to chair a committee to investigate human rights violations in Darfur.

South Africa's Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said Mr Mbeki's role was to intercede between the International Criminal Court and Sudan.

The ICC has issued an arrest warrant for Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir over atrocities committed in Darfur.

Mr Bashir has rejected the charges and accused the ICC of colonialism.

The African Union has asked the ICC to delay the charges for a year, warning that attempts to arrest Mr Bashir could further destabilise the situation in Darfur.

Mr Mbeki brokered the deal for Zimbabwe's political rivals to share power following last year's disputed elections.

He was accused by some of being too soft on President Robert Mugabe.

A spokesman for Mr Mbeki confirmed that he had accepted the appointment. (ANA)

FA/ANA/06 March 2009---

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