ICC wants Kenya to arrest Bashir if he returns

October 26, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 26 – The International Criminal Court (ICC) has asked Kenya to arrest Sudanese President Omar al Bashir if he attends the IGAD meeting scheduled for Saturday.

According to a statement on the ICC website, the court has asked Kenya to state in advance what issues would prevent the arrest of Mr Bashir.

“The Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court requested the Republic of Kenya to inform the Chamber, no later than 29 October, about any problem which would impede or prevent the arrest and surrender of Omar Al Bashir in the event that he visits the country on 30 October, 2010,” the statement read.

The court has reminded the government to act in accordance with its obligations as a State Party to the Rome Statute and surrender Mr Bashir to the court if he comes to Kenya as indicated.

In August this year, the court asked the UN Security Council and the Assembly of States to the Rome Statute to take action against Kenya for failing to arrest Mr Bashir when he visited the country during the promulgation of the new Constitution.

Chad and Uganda are also other countries that have failed to arrest Mr Bashir despite being members of the ICC.

Despite pressure from the international community and civil society groups in the country, Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula strongly defended the government admitting that it had invited Mr Bashir and could not arrest him for the sake of regional peace.

He also said the government acted in accordance with AU resolutions.

Mr Bashir became the first sitting Head of State to be targeted by the ICC when it issued a warrant for his arrest in March 2009.

He was issued with a second warrant of arrest in July this year for three counts of genocide.

He faces charges of crimes against humanity and genocide for atrocities committed in Sudan\’s Darfur region.

ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo accuses Mr Bashir of personally instructing his forces to annihilate the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups.

About 300,000 people have died since the conflict broke out in Darfur in 2003, when ethnic minority rebels took up arms against the Arab-dominated regime for a greater share of resources and power, according to UN figures.


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