Home | News    Tuesday 26 February 2013

Kenyan ambassador to Sudan denies calling Bashir judge “incompetent”

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February 25, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The outgoing Kenyan ambassador to Sudan Robert Ngesu has distanced himself from remarks attributed to him by a pro-government newspaper last week in which he said that president Omar Hassan Al-Bashir is welcome to visit his country “at any time”.

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Sudanese president Omar Hassan al-Bashir (L) and Kenyan president Mwai Kibaki (R)

According to the Khartoum-based Arabic newspaper al-Rayaam, Ngesu reaffirmed his government’s solidarity with the Sudanese leader, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

However, in a letter sent to Sudan Tribune, Ngesu said he never gave an interview to al-Rayaam.

“I wish to categorically state that I did not hold any interview with the said newspaper, and in this regard, I am expressing my objection to the said newspaper,” he said in the letter dated 25 February.

“On the issue of the ICC arrest warrant against the president of Sudan the position of the African Union is in the public domain. Kenya, as a member of the AU, therefore ascribes to the same position,” he continued.

Bashir has been indicted by the ICC over allegations he is responsible for the deaths of up to 300,000 people in Darfur since 2003.

In 2009 and 2010 the Hague-based court issued two arrest warrants for Bashir on 10 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. He has denied the charges calling it politically motivated.

Despite being a signatory to the ICC statute, Kenya ignored its legal obligations, choosing to receive Bashir on a visit in 2010 without making an arrest.

Kenya has defended its position saying it is bound by AU resolutions, instructing member states not to act on the ICC warrants.

However, the last AU summit, which took place last January in the Ethiopian capital, omitted this clause about ignoring Bashir’s warrant.

In a move that infuriated Khartoum, former Kenyan judge Nicholas Ombija in November 2011 ordered the government to arrest Bashir “should he set foot in Kenya in future”.

In its article, al-Rayaam quotes the ambassador as saying Ombija was later dismissed due to his “incompetence and involvement in non-legal affairs.”

Ngesu vehemently denied making comments to that effect, saying “at no time did I utter the words out of ‘incompetence and involvement in non-legal affairs’”.

The Kenyan ambassador confirmed to Sudan Tribune that the Judges and Magistrates Vetting Board in Kenya had relieved Ombija of his position and that the matter of the arrest warrant was currently being handled in Kenya’s Court of Appeal.

The issue sparked a diplomatic row between the two countries, with Bashir expelling the Kenyan envoy at the time and threatening Nairobi with sanctions unless the decision was reversed.

Ironically, the Sudanese president last week awarded Ngesu the Al-Nilain (Two Niles) medal at the conclusion of his five-year-tenure in the country.

The Kenyan government has since appealed Ombija’s decision, however, the appellate court refused its request to suspend the warrant against Bashir, ordering that it stays in effect until the appeal is fully heard.

It is not clear when a decision might be made on the case.

There have been renewed calls for Sudan’s African neighbours to fulfil their obligations under international law, with Chad’s decision to receive Bashir on a visit earlier this month despite the outstanding arrest warrant, drawing a strong rebuke from rights groups.

(ST)

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  • 26 February 2013 05:17, by Dawood

    This is the usual lie and deception of the jallaba. Those in government always lie and their media is all the same. I will never trust what ever comes from the Sudanese politicians and media.

    repondre message

  • 26 February 2013 05:39, by Observer

    Unbelievable! What did al- Rayamm think- that the Kenyan Embassy wouldnt read the paper so they thought they could get some false propaganda and lies out into the public?
    And our leaders wonder why Sudan isnt being taken seriously these days.
    We have the pro- Govt papers deliberately telling lies, we are trying to forge relationships and beg money of countries such as Iran.

    repondre message

  • 26 February 2013 05:44, by Observer

    We ask the rest of the world to trust us and to take us seriously as a mature country yet we just keep acting like immature schoolkids then get all upset when the rest of the world laughs at us and ignores us.
    Remember the ass we made of ourselves regarding the UN fees and non payment. Imagine what we are not hearing about.
    Other countries must have fun sharing the latest Sudan embarassment.

    repondre message

  • 26 February 2013 07:25, by cbuongdit cholkua

    Zip it up man, that’s something very obvious. Norht Sudan as whole even their kids never tell the truth. But bear in mind that, the only last day that the liar surprised the enitre world with the truth is only day that he/she die because nobody can deny dead. So I’m not surprise at all.

    repondre message

    • 26 February 2013 07:50, by Robot

      When the article appeared last week, i said it was a lie, a politically matured country like Kenya won’t be dragged easily into such shameless make up to reverse or create confusion among the two countries and the ICC... WAS THIS THE WAY SUDAN WAS RUNNING ITS DIPLOMACY??????.

      repondre message

    • 26 February 2013 09:28, by Observer

      That is just a generalisation on your behalf.
      I am Northern Sudanese and not all of us are liars nor bring our chldren up to be liars.
      There are a millions of us who are honest truthful citizens of Sudan so please dont insult all of us based on a few.
      Millions of us want our leaders to be honest as well but that is not happening just as it doesn;t always happen in S Sudan

      repondre message

      • 26 February 2013 09:50, by Joseph Canada

        Observer, If thats the truth that you are saying then why would you like to be led by the liars? there’s an African say that goes "One Rotten Onion in a bag will spoil the whole bag". When the leadership like this lie, so does all citizens who follow it. This is the Islamic life!!...

        repondre message

        • 26 February 2013 10:27, by Observer

          Joseph Canada,
          If you read my posts on here you will see that I am always criticising our government and leaders especially about their lies and corruption.
          I chose to come back to Sudan to try and improve things from inside our country something that you have not chosen to do for your country it appears.
          Your insults about me make you look no better than the prejudiced bigoted Sudanese on here

          repondre message

          • 26 February 2013 10:30, by Observer

            such as Jalaby, N Sudanese, Master etc who insult S Sudanese in the same manner.
            Generalisations and stereotyping do not help anything at all and you should leave it to the ignorant Sudanese on here such as N Sudanese etc rather than lower yourself to their level

            repondre message

            • 26 February 2013 11:37, by Robot

              Observer,
              i applauded your comments..... indulging in more constructive argument is worthwhile rather than wasting time posting nonsense.

              repondre message

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