, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 28 – The High Court has issued a warrant for the arrest of Sudan President Omar al-Bashir if he ever sets foot on Kenyan soil.
Justice Nicolas Ombija issued the order after the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ-Kenya), applied for his arrest on the strength of a pending order for his detention by the International Criminal Court.
Al Bashir is wanted by the ICC for crimes against humanity that he allegedly committed against civilians in the worn torn area of Darfur.
“I am satisfied that the applicant (ICJ-Kenya) has locus standi (the right to appear before a court) to seek the orders because Kenya is obligated to arrest him being a member state to the Rome Statute,” Ombija said.
“The court hereby issues a warrant of arrest against Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir as urged by the applicant. The order should be effected by the Attorney General and the Minister for Internal Security should he ever set foot in Kenya.”
In an affidavit in support of the case which was filed a year ago, ICJ Executive Director George Kegoro had said that Kenya should effect two outstanding warrants against President Bashir, being a signatory of the Rome Statute.
“There are also two requests for cooperation in the arrest and surrender of Omar al Bashir issued by the ICC on March 6, 2009 and July 21, 2010 to states that are parties to the Rome Statute,” Kegoro said.
“Al Bashir came to Kenya on August 27 and Kenyan authorities in utter disregard of their obligations under the international law and the laws of Kenya failed to enforce the warrants of arrest,” he added.
The ICJ is troubled that President Bashir will come to Kenya once again in the near future.
“The applicant is apprehensive that should Omar al-Bashir come to Kenya, the respondents in total disregard of the law will once again fail to effect an arrest warrant against him as they previously did.”
Following al-Bashir’s visit to Kenya, there was widespread outcry and condemnation against the Kenyan government. The ICC was forced to report Kenya to the United Nations Security Council for action.
The International Criminal Court is also investigating the 2007/2008 post election violence that rocked Kenya, leaving at least 1,500 people killed and close to 500,000 others uprooted from their homes.
ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo in December last year presented two sets of offences against six Kenyans who are most responsible for the violence.
The six, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura, former Police Commissioner Hussein Ali, William Ruto, Henry Kosgey and radio presenter Joshua arap Sang will know early next year if they will be committed to trial.