Bashir ignores ICC, heads to Kigali for AU summit


Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir will travel to Rwanda on Saturday to attend the African Union summit in Kigali, Sudan Tribune learnt.

The 27th African Union Summit will take place in the Rwandan capital Kigali from the 10th to the18th of July 2016.

Al-Bashir attended the African Union summit in South Africa in June 2015 although South Africa is a member to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

A local court ordered to prevent him form leaving the country, but Johannesburg government facilitated his return to Sudan.

In May of this year al-Bashir visited Uganda and Djibouti, which are ICC state members of Rome Statute.

As a host-country of the African summit, the Rwandan President Paul Kagame has announced that his country will not arrest President al-Bashir during his coming visit to participate in the African Union summit.

“President al-Bashir is welcomed in Kigali at any time. He will be free in his second home country. We will not respond to the ICC calls to arrest him. We will not take any action of such type against him”, Kagame said.

Rwanda is not a state party to the tribunal of war crimes but has the obligation as a member of the United Nations to cooperate with the court. However like many other African capitals, Kigali is critical to ICC and to its focus on Africa.

In April 2007, the judges at the Hague-based tribunal issued an arrest

warrant for President al-Bashir, and for the governor of North Kordofan state Ahmed Haroun, who at the time served as state minister interior.


On a related development, the ICC said Tuesday it had referred Djibouti and Uganda to the United Nation Security Council for failing to arrest al-Bashir while he was on their territory.

As ICC members, the two countries are obliged to arrest the Sudanese president. However, the African governments refuse to arrest him saying they are committed to an African Union decision calling to not cooperate with the Hague based court .

“On 11 July 2016, Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC) decided that the Republics of Uganda and Djibouti had failed to comply with the request for arrest and surrender of Omar Al Bashir to the ICC and referred the matter to the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute and the United Nations Security Council,”. said a statement released on Tuesday.

“It is now up to them to take the measures they deem necessary regarding this matter,” the ICC further said.

Al Bashir is facing two ICC arrest warrants for five counts of crimes against humanity, two counts of war crimes and three counts of genocide.


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