Home | News    Tuesday 7 December 2010

Zambia says no position on arresting Sudan’s Bashir until he confirms attendance

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December 6, 2010 (WASHINGTON) – The Zambian government on Monday refused to say whether it will honor its obligations under the founding treating of the International Criminal Court (ICC) with regard to Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir who has been invited by Lusaka to attend a regional summit.

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Zambia’s president Rupiah Banda (AFP)

Yesterday, Sudan official news agency (SUNA) said that Al-Bashir has received an invitation from his Zambian counterpart Rupiah Banda to participate in the Special Summit of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGR) which is scheduled to take place in Lusaka on December 15.

It was reported that Bashir "responded positively" to the invitation extended by Banda but did not specifically say that he would attend.

The Sudanese leader was indicted by the Hague tribunal in March 2009 for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity, and in July 2010 on charges of genocide, relating to atrocities committed by Khartoum’s forces in Darfur.

Zambia, which became a full member of the ICC in 2002, is legally obligated to execute the arrest warrant against Al-Bashir once he sets foot in its territories.

But a spokesperson at Zambia’s State House refused to spell out his country’s position on apprehending Bashir.

"Issues pertaining to whether Zambia will hand-over President Bashir to the International Criminal Court (ICC) if he decides to attend the Lusaka Summit does not arise as there is no official confirmation of his attendance at the moment" Zambia’s special assistant for press and public relations at the presidency Dickson Jere was quoted as saying by ’Zambian Watchdog’ online news portal.

The Zambian presidency said it was responding to "numerous press queries from both local and International media concerning the forthcoming Heads of State and Government Summit of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) to be held in Lusaka on 15th December 2010, Zambia and the invitation to Sudan".

“At the moment, President Banda, as Chairperson of the ICGLR, has not received confirmation as to who will represent Sudan at the Lusaka Summit. Therefore, it is premature to discuss a matter relating to His Excellency, Mr. Omer Hassan Al-Bashir’s attendance to the meeting when the Sudanese Government has not indicated their attendance or who their representative will be at the meeting".

Jere said that President Banda invited Bashir while acting in his own capacity as the chairman of the defense and security committee of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region and as such he has invited other leaders.

He said that it should be noted that Sudan has always been invited to participate in the ICGLR meetings in the past.

Earlier today, Southern African Centre for Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) urged president Banda to state his position on the matter of Bashir.

SACCORD information officer Obby Chibuluma said that the international media had particular interest in the Sudanese leader and that Zambia would send a wrong signal if it hosted him.

"We would like the Zambian government to make its position clear on the invitation of President Al-Bashir. We believe that the Great Lakes Region Summit is very important which doesn’t just require people from within the region to take part but also the international community. They will also be interested to see what will be happening in there," Chibuluma said.

“So Zambia must make it clear whether they would like to be seen as dining with human right abusers and people who do not respect the right of the minorities,” he added.

Reed Brody, spokesman for Human Rights Watch, told Voice of America (VOA) that a majority of human rights groups across Africa have expressed displeasure over the invitation.

“We are hoping that this report is not correct and, if it is, we are hoping that the president of Zambia will eventually think better of it" Brody said.

Brody stressed that Zambia is obliged under the Rome Statute to enforce the arrest warrants against the Sudanese leader.

Several African countries have justified inviting Bashir by saying that they are committed to an African Union (AU) decision stating that no country in the continent shall cooperate with ICC in apprehending Bashir. But other countries such as South Africa, Uganda and Botswana said they will not abide by these resolutions.

Kenya, as a signatory to the treaty which set up the ICC, was technically obliged to cooperate with the court and arrest Bashir it did not do so when he visited last August for the promulgation of the new constitution.

That was Bashir’s second visit to a signatory of the Rome Statute following a trip to Chad.

“The African Union has taken a position against the arrest warrants but, of course, that doesn’t override these countries’ legal obligations as state parties to the Rome Statutes. South Africa, Botswana have recently confirmed that, despite the AU’s resolution, they remain committed and engaged by their responsibilities as state parties to the Rome Statute,” said HRW spokesperson Brody.

Bashir was forced to skip two events abroad this month when Libya disinvited him from the Africa-EU summit in Tripoli to avoid walkouts by EU officials, and later when Central African Republic blocked his visit to attend the celebrations of the country’s Golden Jubilee Independence Day.

Senegal , another ICC member, has also invited Bashir last August for the 3rd festival of Negro Arts that will take place in Dakar starting this Friday. Sudan has said it will participate but did not specify at what level.

(ST)

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  • 7 December 2010 08:27, by James Deng Dimo

    The international criminal court shouldn’t kept on making Bashir aware of it decisions which he used to think about how to Indies the criminals, now it has provided Bashir with protection decisions on whether to boycott the submit or to go prepared.

    The veridical court at the huge should keep promise vitals, otherwise it decision to arrest Sudan head of African criminals has defeated Ocampo.

    Please Zambia; if you want to trap a lion, than do not let the hole be un covered.

    Bashir, you day will come as ever dag has it day and Ocampo don’t worry, even if how tall is an okra, the owner still plough it down.

    repondre message

  • 7 December 2010 08:44, by Kijana Bol Detion-Alier-Abiu

    That will Bashir’s first visit to a signatory of the grave Statute, why is it hard for International criminal (ICC) court to arrest Bashir for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity? And in July 2010 on charges of genocide, relating to atrocities committed by Khartoum’s forces in Darfur. Bashir must go.

    repondre message

    • 7 December 2010 09:28, by Kolnyang youth

      Bashir let go to Zambia to attend the international summit for great region ,let see what will happen to president bashir whether he will be arrested ?
      bashir have remained with 28 days to taken to the huge early next year
      government of Zambia should not allowed bashir to go to their country because bashir have dirtying his country and want to go enjoyed life in good country like Zambia .
      bashir remained in Sudan until his time of death come .

      repondre message

  • 7 December 2010 09:36, by Thongjang Thongjang

    If Ba-shit go to summit has ass will be in ICC jail in Huge! Donkey Ba-shit will not be there........! Rabbi Thongjang Thongjang.

    repondre message

  • 7 December 2010 10:10, by Luthern King

    Now Bashir had been isolated from the Africa countries how would you field. Being political upheaval is disaster" think over it".
    may GOD BLESS SOUTHERN SUDAN.

    repondre message

  • 7 December 2010 13:25, by majak mayen

    Zambia should not habour terrorists by invited Bashir into the country under ICC warrant. shame on you Zambian if you ivited Bashir and not send him to Hague to stand trial.

    Johnny

    repondre message

    • 8 December 2010 20:19, by Kijana Bol Detion-Alier-Abiu

      Is this one Majak Mayen Yai?

      Please mr Yai, Bashir’s going to Zambia is souse or intoxicated way of going to the court.

      repondre message

  • 7 December 2010 16:30, by Victory

    Zambia shouldn’t entertain such terrorist by inviting el bashir to their country ,unless they have been bribed by the Sudan goverment not to corrporat with the warrant issued aganist him by ICC.

    repondre message

  • 26 March 2013 15:17, by dennishobson

    A0kW6bYGQ8XXTlfNzNMfdvRxBaruIicarros ssanyong deck madeira plastica composite decking Oh my goodness! an amazing article dude. Thank you However I am experiencing issue with ur rss . Don’t know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anyone gett

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