Uganda, Djibouti censured by ICC for failure to arrest Sudan's President Bashir

AFP , Tuesday 12 Jul 2016

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir (Photo: Reuters)

The International Criminal Court on Tuesday said it is referring Uganda and Djibouti to the UN Security Council after the two east African countries' failed to arrest wanted Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

The Hague-based ICC's judges said in a statement "the Republics of Uganda and Djibouti had failed to comply with the request for arrest and surrender of Omar al-Bashir to the ICC".

The world's top criminal court added that it has referred the matter to the UN Security Council as well as the body that oversees its work, the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) which represents the nations that have ratified the court, "to take the measures they deem necessary regarding this matter".

Bashir travelled to Kampala and Djibouti in May to attend the swearing in ceremonies of long-time Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and his counterpart in Djibouti, President Ismail Omar Guelleh.

Both Uganda and Djibouti are members of the ASP and are obliged to execute the court's arrest warrants, issued in 2009 and 2010, to detain Bashir and hand him over for trial in The Hague.

African leaders however, has become increasingly resentful of the ICC's authority and accuse the court of targeting only countries on the continent.

Controversy erupted last year when the South African government did not arrest Bashir when he attended an African Union summit in Johannesburg.

Bashir in May also applied for a US visa to attend the next UN General Assembly in September, with his Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Kamal Ismail saying it was Khartoum's right to send a delegation to the UN meeting.

The Sudanese leader faces genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity charges allegedly committed in the Darfur region of western Sudan between 2003 and 2008.

Bashir was indicted by the ICC in 2009 and denies the charges.

Darfur has been gripped by conflict since 2003, when ethnic minority rebels rose up against Bashir, complaining that his Arab-dominated government was marginalising the region.

Bashir launched a brutal counter-insurgency, in which at least 300,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million forced to flee their homes, according to figures released by the United Nations.

Bashir's forces have been accused of widespread atrocities against civilians.

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