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Bashir to attend Africa-EU tomorrow

Sudan's president, under an international arrest warrant over genocide and war crimes in Darfur, will attend the Africa-EU summit in Libya

AFP, Sunday 28 Nov 2010
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Sudan President Omar al-Bashir, under an international arrest warrant over genocide and war crimes in Darfur, will attend the Africa-EU summit in Libya, South Africa's former president Thabo Mbeki said Saturday.

"President Bashir has to go there for that summit which will be followed immediately by the summit meeting of the peace and security council of the African Union," Mbeki said after talks with Bashir.

Bashir was indicted in March 2009 for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity and in July 2010 on charges of genocide, relating to atrocities committed by Khartoum's forces in Darfur.

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton urged Kenya in August to arrest Bashir and hand him over to the International Criminal Court to face the genocide charges when he travelled to Nairobi.

Although Kenya, as a signatory of the treaty which set up the ICC, was technically obliged to cooperate with the court and arrest Bashir, it did not do so.

That was Bashir's second visit to a signatory of the Rome Statute following a trip to Chad. At the time, Ashton had also urged Chad to arrest Bashir, but Chad also ignored her plea.

Bashir also attended a summit on Sudan and Somalia in Addis Ababa earlier this week. Ethiopia is not a party to the ICC and was therefore not under any obligation to arrest him.

Leaders of Europe and Africa will jet in to Libya for the meeting Monday and Tuesday, to discuss economic development the main agenda, but the problem of illegal immigration from Europe to Africa will  also likely to be discussed.

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