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Sudan’s Bashir in DRC amid calls for his arrest

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February 25, 2014 (KINSHASA) – A group of activists have urged the Congolese authorities to ensure the arrest of the Sudanese President, wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in Darfur.

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Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir (SUNA/File)

President Omer Al-Bashir is in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to attend the 17th Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) summit taking place in the capital, Kinshasa.

“Congo as an ICC member has an obligation to arrest and transfer President Al-Bashir to The Hague, where he is wanted for crimes against humanity and war crimes,” said Georges Kapiamba, president of the Kinshasa-based Congolese Association for Access to Justice.

Under the ICC’s Rome Statute, however, all member countries, including Congo, have an obligation to cooperate with Bashir’s arrest; yet similar calls for the apprehension of the Sudanese leader have in past years been unsuccessful.

Although the African Union has called on its member not to cooperate with the ICC, countries like Malawi, South Africa, Kenya and Zambia have avoided hosting the Sudanese leader.

Descartes Mpongo, the executive secretary of Christian Activists Actions for Human Rights in Shabunda of the DRC, said, “Having long worked closely with the ICC, Congo should demonstrate that it stands on the side of Darfuri victims, and arrest Al-Bashir.”

Elise Keppler, an associate international justice director at Human Rights Watch described the Sudanese leader as “a fugitive from justice who belongs in one place only: The Hague.”

“Since Congo didn’t prevent al-Bashir’s visit, they should take the next step and arrest him," added Klepper.

Sources say that European Union (EU) and United States officials will boycott their attendance of the COMESA summit in protest.

Currently chaired by Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni, the COMESA meeting will reportedly deliberate the status of the implementation of the COMESA free trade area, progress on the Implementation of the COMESA Customs Union and COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Agenda.

Also expected to dominate discussions at the two-day event are issues like peace and security, infrastructure programmes, agriculture and the environment.

(ST)

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  • 26 February 12:41, by Kalo

    Arrest that criminal immediately without any delay or let him run again like he did in Kenya and Nigeria.

    repondre message

  • 26 February 12:51, by Kalo

    Most of the African countries like D,Djibouti,Chad,did not respect the blood of their follow African killed by Albashir instead the host him that is because are poor manipulated by money but one day one time country like Chad will pay the high price he played in Darfur,look!if Saudi Arabia stop Albashir from cross to their Soil,what the fake African leaders are doing.

    repondre message

  • 26 February 13:32, by Abyei Propaganda

    Tell us, are USA, UK, and others members of ICC? If not, why? US killed Ptrick Lumumbo and enthroned primitive military sergeant (Mobutu) president for decates. Those are gay activities who yearn for American dicks. Thye are asshole lickers.

    repondre message

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