Article 16 provides little guidance on the conditions that warrant such a deferral, but merely states, "No investigation or prosecution may be commenced or proceeded with under this Statute for a period of 12 months after the Security Council, in a resolution adopted under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, has requested the Court to that effect; that request may be renewed by the Council under the same conditions." According to a Washington Post article, al-Bashir has persuaded the Arab League and the African Union to invoke Article 16. The Sudan Tribune reported in August 2008 that China and Russia would support such a deferral.
Moreno-Ocampo has accused al-Bashir of massive attacks against Darfur's ethnic Fur, Masalit, and Zaghawa, resulting in 35,000 deaths and 2.5 million displaced individuals. In his pleas to the Security Council, Moreno-Ocampo emphasized al-Bashir's role in ordering and then covering up these crimes. According to Moreno-Ocampo, al-Bashir used diplomacy to protect himself and other criminals, promising to dismantle Janjaweed militias and then failing to uphold that promise for the reserve forces; promising justice and then engaging in torture against those who could be witnesses; and promising ceasefires and then bombing schools. Moreno-Ocampo emphasized that "the international community cannot conceal [al Bashir's] crimes [genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes]."