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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

U.S. to Allow Trials on Darfur

UNITED NATIONS/WASHINGTON -- The United States would allow the International Criminal Court, which it fiercely opposes, to try perpetrators of atrocities in Sudan's Darfur region if it can ensure Americans would not be prosecuted by the court, U.S. officials said Wednesday. The announcement came on the same day a British parliamentary report estimated that as many as 300,000 people have died in the Darfur conflict, revising previous estimates upward by 120,000.

It appeared unlikely that all the U.S. demands would be accepted by the at least nine nations expected to vote for a French-proposed UN Security Council resolution giving the ICC jurisdiction in Darfur.

The Bush administration is in the difficult position of either swallowing some of its qualms about the ICC or vetoing a resolution to prosecute people for the pillage, slaughter and rape in Darfur that Washington itself has called genocide.

No one expects the United States to vote in favor, but European envoys hope Washington will abstain and not use its veto power in exchange for some changes in the text.

"We are trying to find language that we would find acceptable. We're trying to make the resolution work so that we can avoid a train wreck," one U.S. official said.

Diplomats said France had revised its resolution to meet some U.S. concerns and council member governments were studying the text overnight. But a senior envoy said most of the council was willing to risk a U.S. veto rather than undermine the ICC.