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ICC calls on South Africa to arrest Sudanese president

The International Criminal Court has called on South Africa to arrest the president of Sudan, amid media reports that he will attend an African Union summit in Johannesburg.

ICC head Sidiki Kaba asked the South African authorities in a statement late on Saturday "to fulfill their obligations to execute the arrest warrants" against Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir.

"Two arrest warrants issued by the Court against Mr. al-Bashir remain outstanding," he wrote, a reference to two ICC documents issued in 2009 and 2010.

The statement added that "the President of the Assembly expresses his deep concern about the negative consequences for the Court in case of non-execution of the warrants by States Parties and, in this regard, urges them to respect their obligations to cooperate with the Court."

"To this end, he calls on South Africa…to spare no effort in ensuring the execution of the arrest warrants if the information received is confirmed."

Bashir, 71, has been Sudanese president since October 1993 and is accused of crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide committed during the country's Darfur conflict.

Darfur witnessed large-scale violence in 2003 between Bashir's government and several organised armed groups, in particular the Sudanese Liberation Movement/Army and the Justice and Equality Movement who claim that their region has been marginalised.

The United Nations Human Rights Council has said that genocide was committed during the fighting.

According to the UN more than 400,000 people were killed during the conflict but Sudanese officials claim the death toll was much lower.

Some media reports suggest Bashir will still travel to South Africa on Sunday.

Categories
AfricaEurope & RussiaInternational OrganisationsNewsSudan
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