Fidelity bank banner UBA banner
Breaking News: Court order clears the way for arrest of Sudan’s President at AU Summit in South Africa

By News Express on 14/06/2015

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+

Views: 2,877

A South African judge today banned Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir from leaving the country after the International Criminal Court called for him to be arrested at a summit in Johannesburg.

Bashir, who is wanted for alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in the Darfur conflict, mostly travels to countries that have not joined the ICC, but South Africa is a signatory of the court’s statutes.

The ruling was the first time any court has prevented a head of state from leaving a country following a request by the ICC, but Khartoum remained defiant, insisting Bashir would return home.

The Southern African Litigation Centre, a legal rights group, had launched an urgent application in the Pretoria High Court to force authorities to arrest Bashir on the opening day of the African Union summit.

“President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan is prohibited from leaving the Republic of South Africa until the final order is made in this application,” Judge Hans Fabricius said in his ruling.

“The respondents are directed to all necessary steps to prevent him from doing so.”

Despite the arrest calls, Bashir joined a group photograph of leaders at the summit.

Wearing a blue suit, he stood in the front row for the photograph along with South African host President Jacob Zuma and Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe, who is the chair of the 54-member group.

In Khartoum, Sudan’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs Kamal Ismail said Bashir would return home after the main session of the summit.

“Until now, things are normal and there is no risk to His Excellency the President,” he said at a news conference.

Mugabe has previously urged African leaders to pull out of the ICC, which critics accuse of targeting Africa.

The ICC said in a statement from its headquarters in The Hague that it “calls on South Africa... to spare no effort in ensuring the execution of the arrest warrants” against Bashir.

It said South Africa diplomats had been pressed last month to arrest Bashir if he attended the summit, but that they replied they faced “competing obligations” over the issue.

Bashir, 71, seized power in Sudan in an Islamist-backed coup in 1989.

“This is a court that is targeting African leaders,” Sudan Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour told AFP.

“President Bashir is a leading president, a member of the summit of the African Union and will continue attending the summits wherever they are being held inside Africa.”

The ICC indictments relate to the western Sudanese region of Darfur, which erupted into conflict in 2003 when ethnic insurgents launched a campaign against Bashir's Arab-dominated government, complaining of marginalisation.

Khartoum unleashed a bloody counter-insurgency using the armed forces and allied militia.

The United Nations says 300,000 people have been killed in the conflict and another 2.5 million forced to flee their homes.

Khartoum, however, disputes the figures, estimating the death toll at no more than 10,000.

“South Africa has an obligation to arrest him,” Johannesburg-based rights lawyer Gabriel Shumba told AFP.

“Failure to do so puts them in the same bracket as other African regimes who have no respect for human rights. It’s actually a test for South Africa.”

As Judge Fabricius gave his ruling and said the court would meet again on Monday, the summit opened five hours late with Zuma not mentioning the issue in his opening remarks.

“As a member of the International Criminal Court, (South Africa) has committed to cooperate with that court,” Elise Keppler of Human Rights Watch told the ENCA news channel.

“This is an incredible moment for South Africa to do the right thing and to render al-Bashir to the International Criminal Court.

“It’s quite possible that al-Bashir could in fact be taken into custody before he leaves the country.”

The South African government and African Union officials made no comment on the court ruling.

The summit is meeting for two days in the upmarket business and retail district of Sandton under the official theme of the “Year of Women’s Empowerment and Development”.

•Adapted from an AFP report. Photo shows Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

Source News Express

Posted 14/06/2015 7:01:19 PM


Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+




You may also like...
Dangote joins forces with Bono to battle poverty,...

Chocolate City, Ebonylife TV set to launch music...

Apple eyes unification to increase efficiency

EFCC challenges court order on Fayose’s bank accounts...

10-year-old boy gets $10,000 for discovering security fault...

Umahi attacks Onu, others, says: ‘They will not...

Niger Gov laments state of Minna-Suleja Road, sends...

Casualty reported as herdsmen set Adamawa community ablaze...

“I am sorry,” Emmanuel Eboue tells Nigerians, prays...

British American Tobacco in bribery mess

Sokoto AG not authorised to take over EFCC’s...

No peace in Senate until Saraki quits presidency:...


Latest News BREAKING NEWS: Ex-Head of State Ernest Shonekan reported dead Senate rejects inclusion of South East reps in Security Council Buhari support group accuses three governors of sabotage University don commits suicide in Benue Army Chief announces Operation Crocodile Smile III, states objectives Outcry over alleged imposition of the son of Aisha Buhari’s aide as APC candidate Military gives militia December to vacate Benue, Taraba, Nasarawa 2019: Picking Peter Obi will not make Yorubas vote against Atiku — Ajulo Court grants SERAP leave to compel Fashola over ‘N900bn spent on power privatisation’ 2019: Anambra leaders, Ohanaeze assure Atiku of South East support Release of looters’ list didn’t violate rights: Court Kaduna crisis: 24 hours curfew relaxed in parts of metropolis


Most Read NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (409,338 views) Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (383,803 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (316,237 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (259,993 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (238,601 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (225,048 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (204,995 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (186,422 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (171,308 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (166,444 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (162,139 views) Gunmen kill ASP, 2 other police officers in vain bid to kidnap Rivers PDP chieftain (149,811 views)


Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (70) Business & Economy (3,708) Business Verdict (52) Columnists (949) Complaints & Requests (94) Enterprise & Opportunities (207) Entertainment (561) Features (660) Global Business Monitor (305) International (2,568) Interview (165) Live Commentary (28) Love Matters (145) News (39,858) Opinion (1,127) Pidgin (13) Politics (7,372) Religion (885) Sports (1,740) Stock Watch (35) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update


NLNG Prize for Literature 2018

Zenith Zero Balance

CBN banner

Firstmobile banner





LIBYA vs NIGERIA 2-3 Goals Highlights


APO Group Partner




GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member



Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera