South Africa Court Bars Indicted Sudan President From Leaving Country
A South Africa judge barred indicted Sudan President from leaving the country on Sunday because of an international order for his arrest.
The rift between Africa and the West is widening over what Pretoria termed it as anti-poor country bias in the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Omar Al Bashir, President of Sudan, visiting South Africa for attending African Union summit, stands accused in the ICC for crime against humanity and war crimes over atrocities committed in Darfur conflict. Bashir was first indicted in 2009.
South Africa’s government in the meantime has given immunity to all the African delegates. So, Bashir’s arrest is unlikely, though a judge on Monday is expected to hear an application over it.
African National Congress, South Africa’s ruling party reacted furiously over the Sunday’s court verdict, accusing the ICC of imposing selective western justice by singling out the Africans, according to Reuters.
“The ANC holds the view that the International Criminal Court is no longer useful for the purposes for which it was intended,” President Jacob Zuma’s ANC said in a statement.
“Countries, mainly in Africa and Eastern Europe … continue to unjustifiably bear the brunt of the decisions of the ICC, with Sudan being the latest example.”
The South African Litigation Center, a human rights group, petitioned the Pretoria High Court to force the government to issue an arrest warrant for the Sudanese President.
Judge Hans Fabricius allowed the government to prepare its case by postponing the hearing until Monday urging the country’s authorities to take “take all necessary steps” to prevent Bashir from leaving South Africa.
Sudanese officials said that Pretoria assured that their President would be welcome during his visit in South Africa.
Rabie Abdel-Attie, a senior member of al-Bashir’s National Congress Party, said in Khartoum that al-Bashir will stay at the meeting “until it ends.”