Museveni: I can’t arrest Bashir, I’m not a rascal


President Yoweri Museveni (L) shakes hands with his Sudanese counterpart

President Yoweri Museveni has said he cannot invite the Sudanese president, Omar al-Bashir, and then turn around to arrest him in Kampala.

Museveni made the remarks Monday evening during a joint press conference with the Kenyan president, Uhuru Kenyatta, at State House Entebbe.

Bashir faces war crimes and genocide charges by the International Criminal Court (ICC), in relation to the genocide in Darfur region.

Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, says all UN member states (Uganda subscribes) have to take ICC warrants seriously.

Bashir who is scheduled to attend a UN summit dedicated to sustainable development in New York late September faces arrest in the US.

In Uganda, Bashir who was mandated to mediate the South Sudan conflict, is expected to attend the IGAD summit on South Sudan conflict.

The IGAD meeting on South Sudan went underway at State House Entebbe on Monday evening as attended by Presidents Museveni, President Uhuru Kenyatta, Ethiopia Prime Minister, HaileMariam Desalegn, ‎South Sudan Foreign Minister, Barnaba Marial Benjamin, Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Ambassador, Amina Mohammed, Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister, Dr Tedros Adhanom.

When asked whether he will arrest Bashir when he sets foot in Kampala, Museveni told press: “I cannot invite someone (Sudan President Omar Bashir) and arrest him.”

“That is ‘buyaye’ (loosely translated as double-dealing or rascality)”.

“I hear when Bashir went to South Africa, they tried to arrest him,” Museveni pointed out, adding, “we can’t do it here, nothing would happen if he came.”

Last week, the South African President, Jacob Zuma, defended the decision to let Bashir evade an arrest warrant and leave the country in June, saying on Thursday the wanted leader had had immunity as a guest of the African Union.

“Bashir’s coming to South Africa, it was on the invitation of the AU (African Union),” Zuma said.

“He is the guest of the AU,” Zuma told opposition politicians who demanded an explanation in parliament.

Zuma told parliament Bashir would have been detained if he had visited South Africa as an individual, rather than as a delegate to an AU summit.

Pretoria has said it will review its membership of the ICC and challenge a high court ruling that found the state erred in letting Bashir leave.


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