Home | News    Thursday 15 March 2012

S. Sudan: we are not obliged to arrest Sudanese president Bashir

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By Ngor Arol Garang

March 14, 2012 (JUBA) - South Sudan said on Wednesday it is not obliged to arrest Sudanese president, Omer Hassan al-Bashir, who is scheduled to visit the country’s capital, Juba, as part of the framework agreement which the two sides signed in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa on Tuesday.

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President of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir (Getty)

Speaking at a press briefing held at the Secretariat of the South Sudan’s ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), Pagan Amum, South Sudan’s chief negotiator said the agreement calls for the two parties to hold a summit in Juba to examine issues of mutual interest between the two states and to end disputes arising from misunderstandings since discussions begun.

Amum said he is aware Sudanese president Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) but his country will not arrest him “because we have problems to settle first” and that South Sudan does not hold an ICC membership.

Bashir was the first sitting head of state to receive an arrest warrant from the ICC. He is accused of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, committed in Darfur.

Since the issuance of the warrant in 2009, Bashir has continued to travel including to countries which have signed the Rome Statute, upon which the ICC is based, relatively unimpeded.

However, in June 2011 fears over arrest allegedly resulted in a delayed trip to China. Also in December 2011 Malawi came under international scrutiny for hosting Bashir.

Amum was asked at the briefing if, as a member of the United Nations (UN), South Sudan is obliged to execute the warrant against Bashir.

He noted the successes of the current talks in which agreements on nationality and border demarcation have been achieved. The remaining issues will be discussed by Bashir and the South Sudanese President, Salva Kiir, in Juba.

“The signing of these two agreements shows that the two sides have realised their mutual benefits and interests to commit themselves to reaching a peaceful settlement on issues of contention. The agreements actually marks a new beginning with the spirit of readiness to discuss these issues without the old thinking that looks at issues as members of one country,” Amum told journalists.

The chief negotiator on behalf of South Sudan said the nationality agreement allows citizens living on both sides the right to live and own properties as well as other basic rights, including freedom of movement and establishing and carrying out business activities in accordance with the law of each state without fear of confiscation. 

The other agreement on border demarcation allows the two sides to form joint border committee and joint technical team whose work shall commence within 60 days after the signing of the agreement.

Since investigation started, the ICC has also issued warrants for the current governor of South Kordofan, Ahmed Haroun, and Sudan’s defence minister, Abdelrahim Mohamed Hussein.

(ST)

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  • 15 March 2012 06:51, by Lorolokin

    This world that we belong is deal with according to the interest nothing more nothing less , If coming of President to South Sudan is to benefit us South Sudan as a nation why arrest Basher in our territory , This ICC organization is just a bunch of crap. Basher roam in African Countries including some Arab countries no country ever intend to do so even an INTERPOL does nothing, Shit.

    Kinkak.

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  • 15 March 2012 06:56, by upuzi

    The leadership of this country is very funny. Now they are saying that they will not arrest killer Omar Bashir. Yet they have all along been calling him a murderer to justify independence, now he is a saint. The real sufferers are the poor citizens who get killed everyday by bombs dropped by Omar Bashir’s soldiers.

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  • 15 March 2012 07:01, by Sundayw

    Of course South Sudan is obliged to respect international laws and apprehend fugitive Bashir. He has a warrant out for his arrest and that needs to be executed. Some countries ignore it but that is a violation of law. What would prevent South Sudan from arresting al-Bashir? A dozen of his bodyguards against an entire law enforcement officers in South? They would not stand a chance.

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  • 15 March 2012 07:46, by Flora Tong

    what a change of langauge???? I thought we were waiting for a chance to arrest Bashir, but now we are talking a very opposite langauge that indicate we are not arresting him??? what happened heaven sake???? I think now our leaders are realising the international politics and that what matters is INTEREST and not being hardliners??? God knows what else in the way.

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    • 15 March 2012 08:45, by jackson

      Sundayw and flora tong, politics is dynamic, it is a choice by default. what will South Sudan benefited from after the arrest of Bashir?, We are not ready for any war now. there is no shame associated with failure of arrest, kenya declares warrant of arrest to bashir after 7 hrs while he was in Nairobi.
      let him come and indirectly apologised to us in Juba. he will still be arrested at some points

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    • 15 March 2012 09:51, by Ross

      Dear flora Tong
      I advise you to read the literature entitle: Animal Farm.
      may be you will get some answrs in that book to understand what is going on.

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      • 16 March 2012 10:58, by Flora Tong

        Indeed, the pigs became exactly like human..the once upon a time enemy..... is that what is happening??

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  • 15 March 2012 10:14, by Dinkawarrior

    He will be handed over to the ICC in the day light, it’s just a matter of couple days. The same Bashit who set the laws that every Northerners will travel every where except South Sudan and Israel. He is now telling us the different histories. come on bioch!

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  • 15 March 2012 16:28, by morogot batal

    i dont know why people are misinterpreting the icc warrant to criminals
    - it is the UNSC that transfered the case to that court..
    - it doesnt want wether you are a signitory of rome or not..
    - violating the warrant is a direct violation to UNSC...
    - they call for the countries that are eligable in UN to assist arresting..
    we equatorians has nothing to do with the 4 agreement sign.coz we have nothing

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    • 15 March 2012 16:32, by morogot batal

      we have nothing to do with khartoum..
      - we dont want to stay in khartoum or do any business with them...

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  • 15 March 2012 19:47, by James Maker Akok

    If you are a member of UN you have follow what law said. President El Bashir has to be arrest as law said. SouthSudan has to does that.

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  • 16 March 2012 04:05, by Raan Warrap

    South Sudan has an obligation to arrest Bashir as a member of the UN, but they don’t have to follow it up and there aren’t any repurcussions in not following what the ICC wants to do in our case. The UN and ICC will understand our reasons for not arresting Bashir, because arresting him could spark a war and make the situation much worse, the UN would actually prefer us not to arrest him. Honestly!

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