Court bid to have Al-Bashir arrested

2015-06-14 10:54
Sudan President Omar al-Bashir. (File, AP)

Sudan President Omar al-Bashir. (File, AP)

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Johannesburg - The Southern African Litigation Centre (SALC) will on Sunday bring an urgent application in the High Court in Pretoria to compel South African authorities to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

It wants him to be handed to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes while he is still in South Africa, SALC lawyer Caroline James said.

''We just want to ensure that he is arrested before he leaves South Africa. As far as we understand, he is still here.''

Al-Bashir arrived in South Africa on Saturday night to attend the African Union summit underway in Sandton on Sunday.

The ICC called on South Africa to respect its obligations to co-operate with the court. The President of the Assembly of States to the Rome Statute of the ICC, Sidiki Kaba, said two arrest warrants issued by the ICC against Al-Bashir remained outstanding.

''The President of the Assembly expresses his deep concern about the negative consequences for the Court in case of non-execution of the warrants by States Parties and, in this regard, urges them to respect their obligations to cooperate with the Court," the ICC said in a statement.

''To this end, he calls on South Africa, which has always contributed to the strengthening of the Court, to spare no effort in ensuring the execution of the arrest warrants if the information received is confirmed.''

No comment from SA agencies

Spokespeople for South African state agencies who answered their phones on Sunday referred News24 to other departments, claimed not to know anything about the application, or did not say whether Al-Bashir would be arrested.

Ronnie Mamoepa, spokesperson for Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is a facilitator in the peace process in South Sudan, said the matter had nothing to do with Ramaphosa because it related to Sudan.

Human rights organisation, Amnesty International, also joined in calls for the arrest of Al-Bashir.

“Al-Bashir is a fugitive from justice,” Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International’s research and advocacy director for Africa, said in a statement.

"If the government of President Zuma fails to arrest him, it would have done nothing, save to give succour to a leader who is accused of being complicit in the killing, maiming, and torture of hundreds of thousands of people in a conflict that has blighted the lives of millions.”

Read more on:    au  |  omar al-bashir  |  sudan  |  johannesburg

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