ICC condemns South Africa for failing to arrest Sudan’s President
Judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Thursday, strongly criticized South Africa for failing to arrest Omar Hassan Al Bashir, the President of Sudan, when he visited South Africa’s Johannesburg in 2015
President Al Bashir visiting South Africa, he had gone to attend an African Union meeting.
The International Criminal Court in 2009 and 2010, issued international arrest warrants for Omar Hassan Al Bashir regarding charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and later genocide charges were added, which Mr. Bashir denies.
According to prosecutors, Mr. Bashir is accused and answerable to the genocide involving three tribes in the Darfur region of western Sudan. In 2003, President Bashir ordered a counterinsurgency in the conflict between his Arab dominated government and non- Arab rebel groups.
“Government militia gangs backed by military and police helicopters looted and torched hundreds of villages. They bombed schools, poisoned wells and engaged in systematic rape of women and girls,” explained the prosecutors.
The United Nations records estimate that about 300,000 people died and more than two million got driven out of their homes.
South Africa failing to arrest President Bashir in 2015, Pretoria’s lawyers during the hearing in April at the ICC pleaded that Mr. Bashir was immune from arrest being a head of state, and that it was not obliged to implementing the warrant, which the ICC rejected.
“There should have been no doubt about Mr. Bashir’s immunity because South African diplomats consulted the court earlier on before he (Bashir) arrived in the country and got informed that their country, being a member of the court, was obliged to arresting and handing him over,” criticized judges at the ICC
According to ICC, the sitting heads of states do not have immunity in war crime cases, therefore, the member states have to arrest and hand the Sudan President in, for his crimes.
Despite the warrants, Mr. Bashir continues to travel freely and as Khartoum announced, the President will be traveling to Moscow for the first time in August, on Monday.
Correspondent: Shamilah Namuddu