Al-Bashir Leaves South Africa

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir looks on ahead of the 25th African Union summit in Johannesburg June 14, 2015.  (REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko)
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir looks on ahead of the 25th African Union summit in Johannesburg June 14, 2015. (REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko)

By Samuel Malik

Sudanese President, Omar al-Bashir, has left South Africa before a court ruling to determine whether to compel the country to arrest him, the BBC has reported.

Al-Bashir is wanted since 2009 for war crimes and crimes against humanity and when he decided to attend last week’s African Union’s meeting in South Africa, the International Criminal Court, ICC, requested for his arrest.

The Southern African Litigation Centre, a human rights group, approached the Pretoria High Court to stop al-Bashir from leaving the country and the court postponed ruling till Monday, asking the government to ensure that the president was in the country till the case was heard.

The BBC said the lawyer representing the South African government told the court that Bashir’s name was not on the list of passengers that left the country earlier.

However, a Sudanese minister has told Reuters, according to the BBC, that Bashir is expected in Khartoum later in the day, with a press conference expected to be held in the nation’s capital upon his arrival.






     

     

    Following Sunday’s court order, the African National Congress, South Africa’s ruling party, issued a strongly-worded statement condemning ICC’s action, accusing it of selective justice against Africa.

    “The ANC holds the view that the International Criminal Court is no longer useful for the purposes for which it was intended,” the statement read, adding that Africa and Eastern Europe “continue to unjustifiably bear the brunt of the decisions of the ICC, with Sudan being the latest example.”

    Al-Bashir is understood to have sought assurances from the government of Jacob Zuma that he would not be arrested and the government is also understood to have given immunity to all visiting heads of government.

    According to the United Nations, Sudan’s crisis, which began in 2003, has killed 300, 000 people, with a further two million displaced.

     

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