Sunday, June 06, 2010

Sudan’s president not invited to AU meeting, says Museveni

Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who faces the risk of arrest on war crimes charges, has not been invited to next month’s African Union conference in Uganda, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said in a statement.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has an indictment against Bashir over crimes in Sudan’s western Darfur region and African states that are signatories to the agreement establishing the court are obliged to arrest him.

Mr Museveni’s office issued a statement late yesterday saying Sudan would be represented at the conference by “other government officials” and not Bashir.

In March 2009, the Hague-based ICC issued an arrest warrant against Bashir on seven counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur, charges that he rejects. It was the first indictment for a sitting head of state.

The year before, the court accused him of masterminding a campaign of genocide in the troubled region, prompting a round of protests from the government in Khartoum.

The African Union has sought a deferment of the arrest warrant, saying it complicates peace efforts in Darfur.

Reacting, Human Rights Watch said Uganda’s decision to not invite President Bashir proves the International Criminal Court is gaining strength in Africa.

This is a welcome statement from the president of Uganda,” Mr Richard Dicker, international justice director at the New York-based group, told AFP.

“The trend is African state-parties standing up for accountability and ending impunity.” Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

No comments: