Ban Ki-moon asks Sudanese president's help in freeing hostages

UN chief asks Sudanese p

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon phoned Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on Monday night to seek help in freeing two members of the joint UN-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur, who have been held hostage for more than 100 days. UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said it was the first call between the secretary-general and the Sudanese president since the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for the Sudanese leader in March on charges of orchestrating war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. Ban's phone call Sunday came two days after Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the court's chief prosecutor, said the Sudanese leader was becoming increasingly isolated and will ultimately face international justice. Al-Bashir has refused to recognize the tribunal's authority.