The arrest warrant, issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, is not in the interest of peace and stability in Sudan, said a statement of the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry on Thursday.
"Ethiopia does not believe that the latest step taken by the ICC is in the interest of peace and stability in Sudan, in Darfur or in our sub-region in general. Nor will it advance the cause of justice, human rights and humanitarian concerns in Darfur or in the rest of Sudan as a whole," said the statement.
"In short, the decision of the ICC is not wise, prudent and constructive. It is, in fact, dangerous. The decision does not enhance the creditability of the court in the eyes of Africa and that of Sudan's neighbors. It does not require much to realize that the decision will not be seen by the people of Sudan as a friendly act," it said.
In the statement, the Foreign Ministry said Ethiopia was saddened by this latest development and requested the UN Security Council to respond favorably to the request already made by the African Union (AU).
The AU has been lobbying the Security Council to delay the arrest of al-Bashir. The Security Council, which, under the UN Charter, has the primary responsibility for the maintenance of peace and security in the world at large, has the power to suspend ICC investigation or prosecution of a case for up to one year at a time, according to the Article 16 of the Rome Statute that set up the world tribunal.
The request reflected "the sentiments of Africa as a whole and, no doubt, the sentiments of all those who care for the peace, security and stability of Sudan and the sub-region and Africa as a whole," said the statement. "This is a serious development which warrants an urgent meeting of the Security Council to consider the matter."
Earlier on Wednesday, the ICC issued the arrest warrant for the siting Sudanese president, but President al-Bashir denies the war crimes allegations and declines to deal with the court.
Sudanese Minister of State for Information and Communication Kamal Ebeid said that his government rejects the arrest warrant issued by ICC and will not deal with the court, the state television reported in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum on Wednesday.
" The ICC's decision is regarded as a defiance against Sudan's sovereignty," Ebeid said, adding that "there is no firm evidence behind the ICC's arrest warrant."