Malawi hosts Sudan's president, wanted for war crimes

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Malawi hosts Sudan's president, wanted for war crimes Empty Malawi hosts Sudan's president, wanted for war crimes

Post by Admin on Sat Oct 15, 2011 10:19 am

Malawi hosts Sudan's president, wanted for war crimes

Malawi hosts Sudan's president, wanted for war crimes 111014093020-bashir-story-top

Malawi welcomed Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for a regional
trade meeting Thursday over the objections of the International Criminal
Court and human rights activists.
Al-Bashir is wanted by the court in The Hague, Netherlands, for
alleged war crimes. He arrived in Malawi for the annual summit of the
Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).

Human Rights Watch had urged Malawi authorities to arrest al-Bashir
or ban his entry into the country. Malawi ratified the Rome Statute,
which created the court, and as such, it is obliged to arrest him.

"Al-Bashir is an international fugitive wanted on charges of genocide
and other heinous crimes committed in Darfur," said Elise Keppler,
international justice senior counsel at Human Rights Watch. "As an
International Criminal Court member, Malawi should arrest him, not host
him."

The court issued a warrant for al-Bashir for alleged crimes in the troubled region of Darfur in March, 2009.

Human Rights Watch said a number of al-Bashir's anticipated visits to
both member and non-member countries have been canceled following
public outcry.

However, last year, Kenya allowed al-Bashir into the country to attend the signing ceremonies for Kenya's new constitution.

The government defended its decision not to arrest al-Bashir by
saying Kenya's first obligation was to the African Union, not the
International Criminal Court.

The European Union foreign policy chief also expressed concern over the visit.

"The European Union is a staunch supporter of the ICC and the fight
against impunity," Catherine Ashton said in a statement Friday. "The
Court is a valuable instrument of the international community to ensure
that there is no impunity for the most serious crimes of international
concern; genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes must not go
unpunished and their prosecution must be ensured by measures at both
domestic and international level.

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