African Union to ask UN to defer action on Bashir indictment for a year

Nigeria's foreign affairs minister says the African Union will ask the UN Security Council to defer the indictment of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for a year. Minister Ojo Maduekwe says the African Union will make the request, preventing action on the charges, to allow progress to be made in slow-moving negotiations to end the five-year-old conflict in Darfur. International court prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo is seeking an arrest warrant for al-Bashir on charges of waging a campaign of genocide and rape in Darfur. "We are asking that the ICC (International Criminal Court) indictment be deferred to give peace a chance," says Maduekwe. He spoke on behalf of his colleagues after a meeting of the AU's Peace and Security Council.