If the tribunal goes ahead, it would be the first such warrant on a serving head of state.

There are fears of unrest and a backlash against a joint African Union-UN peacekeeping force.

Mr Bashir, who denies the charges, said on Tuesday the tribunal at The Hague could “eat” the arrest warrant.

The BBC’s Peter Martell in Khartoum says the capital is very tense as people await the ICC’s decision.

He says there is heavy security and large pro-Bashir demonstrations are expected.

But he adds there is also a strong feeling in the city – albeit seldom openly expressed – in support of an indictment.

Meanwhile Sudanese security forces are reportedly out in force in the north-western Darfur town of El Fasher.

Sudanese army jets have been flying over the town and the UN-AU force is on a heightened state of alert.

The UN estimates about 300,000 people have died and some 2.7 million been displaced in six years of conflict.

Opening a hydro-electric dam in northern Sudan on Tuesday, President Bashir poured scorn on the possible indictment.

He said the warrant would “not be worth the ink it is written on” and danced for thousands of cheering supporters who burned an effigy of the ICC chief prosecutor.

Luis Moreno Ocampo requested the indictment last July for President Bashir on 10 counts of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.



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