Sudan says it will reject a call to send any citizen suspected of war crimes in Darfur to the International Criminal Court for trial.
The Hague-based Court announced Monday it has formally launched an investigation into alleged war crimes in the western Sudanese region, adding it will focus on individuals who bear the greatest responsibility.
Lead prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo called on all parties to cooperate with the investigation. Sudanese officials said their government would reject such a call and conduct its own probe.
Earlier this year, the United Nations referred a list of 51 suspected war criminals to the Hague Court. The list reportedly includes the names of Sudanese officials, army commanders, pro-government Arab militias and rebels.
The United Nations estimates 180,000 people in Darfur have been killed during more than two years of conflict. Some two million others have been displaced.