Sudan's foreign minister has said his country's government is facing a "crisis" of disagreement over cooperation with the International Criminal Court (ICC) whose prosecutor wants to arrest the country's president.
"There is a crisis in the government, there is a very serious debate," Deng Alor told journalists after meeting his Dutch counterpart Maxime Verhagen in The Hague.
"We hope we will reach a consensus before any further move is made by the ICC," the minister said.
The majority National Congress Party of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir was against co-operation with the ICC while his own Sudan People's Liberation Movement was in favor, added Alor.
"The discussion is still on ... there is not much time left" before the judges of the ICC decide whether or not to issue an arrest warrant for the president.
This was expected to happen by mid-October, the minister said, adding that an indictment of Bashir could "affect" peace agreements in the country and cause further instability.
Alor said peace efforts in Sudan's war-ravaged Darfur region and a peace agreement that ended more than two decades of conflict in the country's south -- Africa's longest civil war -- could unravel if the court orders al-Bashir's arrest.
ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo asked the court in July for an arrest warrant for Bashir on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in the country's western Darfur region.
The U.N. says up to 300,000 people have died and more than 2.2 million fled their homes since war in Darfur erupted in February 2003. Sudan puts the death toll at 10,000.
The ICC, charged by the UN Security Council in March to probe the Darfur conflict, has already issued warrants for the arrest of Sudan's humanitarian affairs minister Ahmed Haroun and militia chief Ali Kosheib.
Bashir has consistently refused to hand them over to the court.