Amnesty International has called on Uganda to make a grab of the wanted Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir as soon as possible, and hand him over to the International Criminal Court (ICC), immediately after his arrest.
Omar Al-Bashir arrived in Kampala this morning to witness the swearing-in of his counterpart, President Yoweri Museveni. The trip is Mr Bashir’s first to Uganda since the ICC warrants were issued and follows Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s visit to Khartoum last year.
Uganda is a member of the ICC, which means it is required to act on the arrest warrant. Amnesty international has instructed Uganda to meet her international obligations by arresting Omar Al-Bashir, who is wanted on charges of genocide. Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, added that the country as a signatory to the Rome Statute, has an absolute obligation to surrender him to the ICC.
Stating the consequences if the instruction is not followed, Wanyeki said it is a breach of duty and a cruel betrayal of the hundreds of thousands of people slaughtered, raped and displaced during the Darfur conflict.
Muthoni Wanyeki, commented:
“President Omar Al-Bashir cannot be allowed to evade justice any longer. The government of President Museveni must act now to arrest him and ensure that the next flight he takes flies directly to The Hague where justice awaits him.”
The Darfur, Sudan violence case was referred to the ICC in 2005 by the UN Security Council. After the case came into limelight, the court issued an arrest warrants against President Al-Bashir since 2009 on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in Darfur from 2003 to 2008.
The country on March 2010, through her parliament, passed the International Criminal Court Bill which completely includes the law of the ICC into Ugandan law. Uganda’s representative also told Assembly of States Parties flanked by ICC in November 2015 that the country is committed to International Criminal Court in the war against impunity, and will remain unbending in its support.
The bill also states clearly the seizing and surrender of suspects to the ICC.
Supreme Court of South Africa lately defined the behaviour of South African authorities “disgraceful” for not being able to get hold of President Al-Bashir as provided in their obligations under South African legislation implementing the Rome Statute, when the president toured Johannesburg for African Union Summit in June 2015.