Home | News    Monday 27 July 2015

Bashir arrives in Mauritania for regional summit

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July 26, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s president Omer Hassan al-Bashir has travelled to Mauritania on Sunday to participate in the 4th summit of the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative (GGWSSI), state media reported.

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Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir as they pose for photographers ahead of the African Union summit in Johannesburg June 14, 2015 (REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko)

This is Bashir’s second visit to Mauritania since the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued arrest warrants for him in 2009 and 2010, charging him with genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity related to alleged atrocities carried out by the military and government-backed militias in the conflict in Darfur.

Mauritania is not a state party to the Rome Statute of the ICC, and therefore has no obligations under the statute. However, the ICC chief prosecutor, Fatu Bensouda, had in the past asked Saudi Arabia and Egypt who are also non signatories to the statute to arrest Bashir.

Also, the ICC had previously asked Qatar, Congo, Kenya, and Ethiopia to arrest the Sudanese president who continued to travel to several African capitals despite the arrest warrants.

Since the issuance of the two arrest warrants, Bashir limited his trips abroad to ICC non-party states but he also traveled to five signatory states including the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Nigeria, Malawi, Djibouti and South Africa.

His recent trip to South Africa drew international attention after he flew out of the country defying a High court order which order the government to ban his departure until an application calling for his arrest had been heard.

GGWSSI SUMMIT

Several ministers and experts from GGWSSI member states on Thursday have started their regular meetings in the Mauritanian capital, Nouakchott in preparation for the presidential summit which would convene on Monday.

The GGWSSI is a pan-African programme launched in 2007 by the African Union (AU). Its goal is to address land degradation and desertification in the Sahel and Sahara, boost food security, and support communities to adapt to climate change.

The initiative brings together more than 20 countries from the Sahel-Saharan region including Algeria, Burkina Faso, Benin, Chad, Cape Verde, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, the Gambia and Tunisia.

(ST)

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