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Bashir Warrant Adds New Tension to Darfur Crisis

The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir Wednesday for charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Colum Lynch of the Washington Post explains how the court's action may affect the conflict in Darfur.

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  • JIM LEHRER:

    Gwen Ifill has more on this story.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    And for that, we go to Colum Lynch, who covers the United Nations for the Washington Post.

    Welcome.

  • COLUM LYNCH, Washington Post:

    Thank you very having me, Gwen.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Now that this long-pursued warrant has been issued for President Bashir's arrest, what happens next?

  • COLUM LYNCH:

    Well, not much. I mean, essentially, what Bashir did today by expelling the humanitarian aid workers is he's creating a sense of crisis for the West.

    One of the reasons why the West, the United States and others, have been able to not sort of act as aggressively to stop the killing that's going on in Darfur is that there have been humanitarian aid workers, there have been U.N. peacekeepers on the ground who have been stabilizing the place to a certain degree, saving lives.

    Now that you're taking out a group of aid workers that are responsible for feeding and caring for roughly 60 percent of the population of Darfur, you're going to face the potential of a dire humanitarian crisis, and you're going to find that, while there's enormous pressure on Bashir, there's going to be enormous pressure on the West to do something about that.

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