October 24, 2009 (WASHINGTON) – The government of Botswana this week reiterated its support to bring Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir to justice.
- Botswana Vice president Mompati Merafhe
The prosecutors at the International Criminal Court (ICC) accuse Bashir of masterminding a campaign to exterminate African tribes in Sudan’s Western region of Darfur.
The African Union (AU) has adopted a resolution last July instructing its members who are signatories of the Rome Statute, which is the founding text of ICC, not to cooperate in apprehending the Sudanese president.
However, Botswana dissented from the AU position and accused the Libyan leader Muammar Kaddafi of forcing the resolution upon the members without debates.
The Sudanese First Vice President Salva Kiir who is on a visit to Gaborone had lunch with Vice President Lt Gen. Mompati Merafhe, the Botswanaian foreign ministry said in a statement.
At the luncheon Merafhe said that the cause of the people of Southern Sudan was just and Botswana supports their fight against injustice as well as intolerance perpetrated by the North.
“It is for the same reason, that Botswana has found it fitting to pronounce its position on the indictment of President Al Bashir by the International Criminal Court,” he said.
Vice President Merafhe said impunity must not be tolerated, and the ICC must not be prevented from carrying out its mandate as per the Rome Statute.
The Botswanaian official stressed that his country “is certainly committed to seeing a Sudan at peace with itself as well as with all her neighbors”.
Kiir said that although Botswana was geographically far from Sudan, it has lessons which could be of importance to the people of Southern Sudan such as in management of resources.
This, he said, could be done through some formal exchange programmes such as in the areas of human resources development and in the management of natural resources
During his visit, the First Vice-President of Sudan paid a courtesy call to Botswanaian president on His Excellency the President Ian Khama.
Kiir was accompanied by the Presidential Advisor on Gender and Human Rights, Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior; Minister of Sudan People’s Liberation Army Affairs (SPLA), Lt. Gen. Nhial Deng Nhial; Minister of Regional Cooperation, General Oyay Deng Ajak; Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Dr. Samson Kwaje; Minister of Energy and Mining, Hon. John Jok and other senior government officials.