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Genocide noose tightens on Sudan's leader - but slowly

"He is not under house arrest, he is under country arrest. [And] When he is outside, he flies with half the air force because he knows he can be arrested."

Chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, tells AFP of Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir who faces ICC warrants for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur.

Bashir's is the first warrant for genocide issued by the ICC.

This week he is due to attend a regional summit in Zambia which, despite being an ICC signatory, has not agreed to arrest him.

South Africa and Uganda have however said they would arrest him if he went there, adding to diplomatic doors being slammed after ICC complaints and some international pressure.

"[Bashir] is finding himself a prisoner in his own palace" because of the "dis-invitations," Richard Dicker, Human Rights Watch's head of international justice, said.

"While there is a long way to go before he is a prisoner at the ICC or appears at its dock, it suggests a greater isolation for the president of Sudan than I believe he ever expected.”

Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed last week that the prevention of genocide is a global responsibility, stating that when States fail to protect their populations, the international community must step in and act.

However, John Prendergast, co-founder of Enough, an anti-genocide activist group, expressed disappointment at the "sporadic and erratic" resolve of the international community.

"There has to be some kind of repercussion for a country that will allow [Bashir] to visit, especially if they are signatories to the ICC. So the noose seems a little loose still and that could be tightened," he said.

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