Stay away, Malawi tells Bashir

2012-05-04 22:02

Lilongwe - Malawi President Joyce Banda said on Friday she had asked the African Union to prevent Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court on genocide charges - from attending a summit in her country.

Banda is trying to restore a flow of overseas aid cut under her predecessor's rule, leaving a gaping hole in a budget that relies on overseas assistance for about 40 percent of its funds.

Bashir visited Malawi last year when President Bingu wa Mutharika was in power, which sparked international criticism that Malawi was not living up to its international court membership obligations to honour an arrest warrant.

Banda, who became president last month, said she had asked the African Union not to invite Bashir to the African heads of state summit to be hosted by the impoverished southern African nation in July.

"I have written them because of the economic implications this may have on Malawi," she told a news conference.

"Let the AU decide on his position. He [Bashir] should forgive us this time as we are struggling to fix the economy."

Mutharika's government allowed Bashir to attend a regional trade summit last year, citing "brotherly coexistence".

The move strained ties with donors, including the United States and European nations, who had already frozen projects in Malawi due to Mutharika's suspected human rights violations and growing autocracy. Mutharika died last month of a heart attack.

The International Criminal Court, the world's first permanent war crimes court, has no police force of its own and is reliant upon state co-operation to have suspects arrested.

Bashir has been indicted by the court over allegations he is responsible for the deaths of up to 300,000 people in Darfur since 2003. He has denied the charges.

  • Mc - 2012-05-05 09:34

    At last, a female president with balls!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-05-05 17:23

      "Let the AU decide on his position. He [Bashir] should forgive us this time as we are struggling to fix the economy." You call this having balls?

  • AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-05-05 10:41

    Joyce Banda ====== A non violent, African Spring ! Would not be surprised , if she will turn against Mugabe !!

  • courtley.tzoo - 2012-05-05 11:05

    Y don't she allow this bustard to come and arrest him.

  • khokhola - 2012-05-05 16:11

    sadc, don't leave her alone on this issue. how nice if she consulted her colleagues in the region to give her some moral support. we can;t allow butchers travelling around freely hwen they are supposed to be noosed.

  • Lovemore - 2012-05-06 06:54

    America is not even a signatory to th so called International court of justice and yet its busy arm twisting ths powerless nation! Bush and Blair comitted heinous which killed over a million innocent lives and nothng was done to them!

  • picheII - 2012-05-06 16:45

    African Union needs strong will spirited Leaders like Joyce Banda,Jacob Zuma who are democratic.African Union must not be the Umbrella of Dictators who wage war against their own people because of different political,religious affliations and people who don`t clap hands for the president and the party. They must focus on the development of the continent. They must not impose heavy taxes on their own people. Why citizens should pay tax on meat which is produced in Malawi? When people have maize to eat and not commercial maize, you cannot say this is developed country and food is not only maize.Yet people are having poor roads, poor housing,poor healthy facilities and its citizens cannot afford even one medical scheme and insurance policy.A country which has no Identity Documents for its citizens.People need to have surplus money in their pockets to buy other commodities such as good clothes,good food and afford to buy or rent a property which does not lick when it is raining.

      arne.verhoef - 2012-05-08 06:10

      See, you lost it by mentioning Zuma in the same breath

  • lloyd.tandi - 2012-05-06 20:05

    Keep it up Joyce.

  • picheII - 2012-05-06 20:42

    At the moment its African Disunity.African Union is supposed to have one voice and spread unity and democracy across the continent,stop wars and massacres against our own people. Have one currency,have one passport,have one army.Remove trade barriers.Stop backing dictators.

  • picheII - 2012-05-06 22:08

    What type of a president holding an axe,pointing an axe in the air during a campaign rally.and we call this african unity?

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