UNITED NATIONS - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pledged to continue UN's extensive humanitarian and peacekeeping operations in Sudan, despite the issuance by the ICC Wednesday of an arrest warrant for war crimes committed in the strife-torn Darfur region by Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir. Sudan, which has not signed the statute of the Hague-based court, has rejected its verdict, saying it was politically motivated. Khartoum also said it will not cooperate with the court. "For us, the court doesn't exist," Sudan's UN Ambassador Abdalmahmood Abdalhaleen Muhammad told a Press conference at UN Headquarters in New York. On his part, the UN chief stressed the ICC's status as an "independent judicial institution," in a statement issued by his spokesperson. But she added, "The Secretary-General respects the decision." President Al-Bashir was indicted on two counts of war crimes and five counts of crimes against humanity. However, the pre-trial chamber found there was insufficient evidence to charge him with genocide, but stressed that if the prosecution presents additional evidence the warrant could be amended at a later date. "He is suspected of being criminally responsible, as an indirect (co-)perpetrator, for intentionally directing attacks against an important part of the civilian population of Darfur, Sudan, murdering, exterminating, raping, torturing and forcibly transferring large numbers of civilians, and pillaging their property," according to a Press release issued by the Court. An estimated 300,000 people have died in Darfur, either through direct combat or because of disease, malnutrition or reduced life expectancy, over the past five years in Darfur, where rebels have been fighting Government forces and allied Arab militiamen, known as the Janjaweed, since 2003. Last July, Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo presented evidence to the Court against Al-Bashir for alleged crimes in Darfur, some three years after the Security Council requested him to investigate atrocities committed in the region. These crimes, the chamber said, were allegedly committed during the Sudanese Government's 2003-2008 counter-insurgency campaign waged against armed groups including the Sudan Liberation Movement Army (SLM-A) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). It said that a key element of this campaign was the "unlawful attack" on civilians - belonging mostly to the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa groups seen to be allied to the groups opposing the Government in Darfur - by Sudanese forces, including the Janjaweed. As the President of Sudan and Commander-in-Chief of the Sudanese Armed Forces, Al-Bashir allegedly directed the campaign and put it into place, the ICC found. "Omar Al-Bashir's official capacity as a sitting Head of State does not exclude his criminal responsibility, nor does it grant him immunity against prosecution before the ICC," the press release said. Today's warrant issued for Al-Bashir marks the third to arise from the situation in Darfur. In May 2008, the pre-trial chamber issued arrest warrants for Ahmad Harun, former Sudanese Minister of State for the Interior and now the Minister of State for Humanitarian Affairs, and Ali Kushayb, a Janjaweed leader. Ban, in the statement issued by his spokesperson, called on the Sudanese Government to continue cooperating fully with all of the world body's entities, "while fulfilling its obligation to ensure the safety and security of the civilian population, UN personnel and property, and that of its implementing partners."