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Malawi joins Kenya in facing UN sanctions over Bashir

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 15 – The International Criminal Court (ICC) has reported Malawi to the United Nations Security Council for failing to arrest Sudanese President Omar al Bashir.

The Southern Africa country joins Kenya, Chad and Djibouti on the list of countries that have been reported to the Security Council for hosting Bashir despite an existing warrant of arrest against him.

“The chamber has informed the United Nations Security Council and the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of Omar al-Bashir’s visits to Kenya, Djibouti and Chad as well as of the non cooperation of the Republic of Malawi in arresting Bashir,” a statement posted on the ICC website indicated.

The ICC told the UN Security Council that the four countries have failed to honour the obligation of cooperation as required by the Rome Statute which they signed when they became members of the ICC.

According to ICC, “It is for the United Nations Security Council and the Assembly of States Parties to take any measure they may deem appropriate to ensure the full cooperation with the ICC.”

Bashir who is wanted for war crimes visited Kenya in August last year and despite calls to arrest him Kenya ignored the directives from the court and the civil society.

Recently, Attorney General Githu Muigai appealed against a court ruling that directed Bashir to be arrested should he ever step on Kenyan soil.

Kenya has six of its own in the books of the ICC following the post election violence in 2008 that is blamed for the loss of 1,333 lives and displacement of 350,000 people.

Come January, the six suspects will know their fate when the judges give their verdict if the two cases will proceed to full trial or not.

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ICC which has no police of its own depends on member States to arrest people wanted by the Hague based court.

The ICC issued an arrest warrant for Bashir in 2009 on five counts of crimes against humanity, two counts of war crimes and three counts of genocide.

Some of the implications of being reported to the ICC include the UN Security Council imposing economic and travel sanctions.

The UN Security Council can ask ICC member States to sanction governments that violate international codes.

Other implications are also a negative international image for those countries.

The African Union has argued that regional peace should override international recommendations.

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