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ICC moves to arrest al-Bashir in South Africa

ICC moves to arrest al-Bashir in South Africa
June 14
20:50 2015
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The international criminal court (ICC) has prevailed on South African authorities not to allow President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan to leave Johannesburg, where he is attending the African Union (AU) summit, in compliance with an interim order of a Pretoria high court.

The court says Bashir must stay in the country until Monday when it will rule on whether al-Bashir should be handed over to the ICC.

Al-Bashir is wanted by the UN-backed court for alleged atrocities, including genocide, committed during the 2003 Darfur conflict.

The Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC), which promotes human rights, had filed an urgent application to overturn a government decision to grant immunity to all delegates attending the African Union (AU) summit.

But the prospect of the Sudanese president being formally arrested appeared to recede on Sunday evening when South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) said the ICC was “no longer useful for the purposes for which it was intended”.

The ANC also called for a review of ICC statutes to make them applicable to all UN members and ensure a “fair and independent court for universal and equitable justice”.

ANC accused the court, which is based in The Hague, of only targeting political leaders in the continent and failing to bring to justice those responsible for war crimes in the Middle East and elsewhere.

The warrants against al-Bashir have restricted his overseas travel. He has only been visiting friendly states in Africa and the Middle East.

In 2013, al-Bashir fled Nigeria before the end of a two-day AU summit in order to avoid arrest from the ICC which wrote to the Nigerian government to detain him.

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