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Sudanese president to skip Mandela funeral amid ICC arrest fears: report


December 9, 2013 (WASHINGTON) - Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir will not be travelling to South Africa to participate in the memorial service for former president Nelson Mandela who passed away last week.

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US president Barack Obama (L) is welcomed following his arrival in South Africa to attend a memorial service for Nelson Mandela on 10 December 2013 (Photo: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

Newly-appointed first vice-president Bakri Hassan Saleh, who was sworn in earlier this week, will represent Sudan at the event, according to a list released by South Africa’s international relations and cooperation department.

A spokesman for the Sudanese embassy confirmed to South Africa’s Sunday Independent newspaper that Bashir would not be attending in order to avoid any complications associated with his indictment by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

South African officials said no invitations had been sent out to world governments for the funeral, and it was left up to individual countries to decide who to dispatch.

The event is expected to be one of the largest gatherings in recent years, bringing together heads of state and top officials from all around the world, including former leaders.

Among the 59 heads of state expected to attend is US president Barack Obama, who will also be joined by his predecessors George W Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.

Bashir faces two outstanding arrest warrants issued by ICC judges on 10 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide allegedly committed in Sudan’s western region of Darfur.

South Africa is a signatory to the Rome statute which forms the basis of the ICC and is therefore obliged to arrest the Sudanese head of state.

Although several African countries that are ICC members have previously received Bashir without arresting him, legal experts point out that South Africa is one of the few countries that have domesticated the Rome statute into its national laws.

As a result, the apprehension of the Sudanese leader becomes a requirement imposed by local South African laws that the executive branch cannot overrule.

South African officials have made statements in the past indicating that they have no option but to arrest Bashir should he set foot on their territory.

Nonetheless, South Africa has backed all African Union (AU) resolutions calling for the suspension of the arrest warrant against Bashir and ordering member states not to cooperate with the ICC in this regard.

Johannesburg has also lent its support to an AU decision last October which stated that sitting African heads of state should not be prosecuted. The move came in response to the ICC case against Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto, who are currently facing trial in The Hague for their alleged role in 2007 post-election violence.


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  • 10 December 2013 08:28, by Wicdail

    Thanks RSA for not allowing the dragon to across your territory. How come this devil who butchered innocents lives in both Sudan could attends a funeral of a man of wisdom? A man who has endured 26% of his life in prison and did not even think of dying in power when earned his freedom and become a president of RSA. The second step of RSA is to advice Mr, Kirr to resign and give way to others.

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    • 11 December 2013 01:42, by daniell

      This is a mourning of great loss as well as celebration of perseverance on the eye of human vices onto another human.

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  • 10 December 2013 13:35, by Konan

    To Sudan Tribune, odds and losers, President Bashir made it, right now he is in South Africa to attend Mandela funeral, most people don’t know that Sudan had given Mandela and his colleagues diplomatic passports to to travel around the world to explain their plight with apartheid.

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    • 10 December 2013 22:23, by Akol Liai Mager

      Yet Sudan’s Apartheid took and still taking more of African Sudanese lives. If he was really there, then he must has had tough time listening to Mr Barack Obama’s strong remarks; "Mandela was a peaceful man, forgiving man who said to his jailers, I forgive you and therefore come, join me and together we lift up South African out of Apartheid’s black tunnel, great protector of lives and justice

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      • 10 December 2013 22:29, by Akol Liai Mager

        "Though many presidents amongst us pretend to be best friends of Mandela, they fail to apply in their behaviours even a single out of simple equations of love, peace, forgiveness, justice, harmony and tolerance he (Mandela) had formulated which made him a great of out time. Those remarks were exclusively and directly addressing Fugitive Al-Bashir.

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        • 10 December 2013 22:35, by Akol Liai Mager

          It will be up to North Sudan Fugitive Al-Bashir to learn great lessons from Fredrick William De Clark who had admitted South African Apartheid’s regime crimes, and a need to free the leader of Majority Mr Mandela from Jail, lay his hand in the hand of Mr Malik Agar, the leader of Majority of Sudanese, or face Al-Gaddaffi’s and Saddam’s fades.

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      • 11 December 2013 11:35, by australian

        Mandela forgave his jailers? That was big of him, considering he committed crimes such as terrorism.
        And what is South Africa now, with "justice"? A kleptocracy which allows and ignores murder of its productive white citizens, not to mention being in general the murder and rape capital of the world.
        Some justice!

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  • 11 December 2013 03:32, by chol

    That evil man do not deserve to come to Mandela memorial
    He deserve to die and go to hell.Khartoum regimes are not different from former apartheid regime in South Africa,But the European are more civilize than dump fake Arabs in Sudan,which lead to separation of South Sudan and what left will later breakup into two or more countries.
    Chol Y.

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