An International Criminal Court arrest warrant for Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir may have compromised the quest for peace in Darfur, a U.N. and African Union mediator said on Thursday.

The official, Djibrill Bassole, called on the U.N. Security Council to heed the concerns of the AU, an organization grouping 53 African countries that has urged the council to use its power to suspend the ICC’s proceedings against Bashir.

Bashir was charged by the court with war crimes in Darfur.

Bassole was addressing the 15-nation council, which later appealed to Sudan to reconsider a decision to expel some aid groups in Darfur after the ICC move. Khartoum has accused the groups of supplying information to the ICC, which they deny.

Bassole, who represents the U.N. and AU jointly, said his task of bringing together Sudan’s government and Darfur rebel groups for talks was “currently blocked by the intransigent positions of the warring parties” following the ICC move.

“In all likelihood, the process to find a political solution to the crisis in Darfur has been significantly slowed and even compromised,” he told the closed-door meeting, according to a text of his speech seen by Reuters.

Bassole, a former Burkina Faso foreign minister, suggested the Security Council heed the African Union’s position.



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