Home | News    Thursday 6 August 2015

Bashir’s arrest in New York is the responsibility of the U.S. government:UN

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August 5, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – The United Nations spokesperson Farhan Haq said the decision to arrest the Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir during his planned visit to New York next month falls in the hands of the United States government.

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United Nations spokesperson Farhan Haq

On Monday, Sudan’s deputy UN ambassador Hassan Hamid Hassan said that Bashir, who faces war crimes and genocide charges by the International Criminal Court (ICC), would attend a UN summit dedicated to sustainable development in New York late September.

Haq told reporters Tuesday that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said all UN member states have to take ICC warrants “seriously.”

“As you know, there are relevant resolutions of the security council also about this matter, which we expect the member states will abide by” he added.

Haq’s statements came following appearance of Bashir’s name on a provisional list of speakers at the summit. If he speaks, Bashir would be the first head of state to address the general assembly while facing charges by the ICC.

Asked whether the U.S. is required to give visas to every head of state or government coming to the general assembly for the annual general debate, Haq said that the basic understanding is that the heads of state and government who come for the general debate will be able to come to the U.S. in order to speak.

Under the UN headquarters agreement, the US is obligated to promptly issue visas for officials seeking to participate in UN events except under very limited circumstances related to national security.

Haq stressed they are not yet aware of the arrangements regarding the names on list of speakers, saying the names could be changed in the final moments by the missions of the member states in New York.

He also underscored they are not aware whether the US has granted Bashir a visa to attend the general assembly next month or not, saying they don’t know if the Sudanese president has applied for a U.S. visa in the first place.

Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department spokesperson, Mark Toner, on Tuesday said his government is aware of reports that Bashir will speak at the UN, stressing they haven’t seen anything beyond that.

“We’ve been very clear how we feel about the president of Sudan and that he’s wanted for crimes, and we want to see him held accountable for those crimes,” he added
Bashir was also scheduled to speak at the general assembly’s annual ministerial meeting in September 2013 but the government cancelled his appearance.

The U.S. made it clear then that it did not want Bashir to show up in New York. Also, human rights groups had warned they would seek legal action against him if he arrived.

The U.S. is not an ICC member but in 2013 said the ICC arrest warrant will be a factor in deciding his visa request.

Last June, Bashir was forced to flee South Africa where he attended an African Union (AU) summit after a court ruled he should be banned from leaving pending the outcome of a hearing on his possible arrest.

The court eventually ordered taking him into custody pending his transfer to the ICC. South Africa, an ICC member, was accused of flouting its constitutional and international obligation by allowing him to leave.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 6 August 2015 09:08, by dinkdong

    Bashir won’t dare travel to New York. He doesn’t have the gut.

    repondre message

  • 6 August 2015 13:21, by Jupiter Maguangdit

    Mr. Farhan Haq,

    US will not arrest the criminal called Al Bashir.

    repondre message

  • 6 August 2015 20:26, by Stephen kuach

    If they would going to arrest him they shouldn’t be sounding the alarm before Al Bashir boarded the plane,you will never arrest him.

    repondre message

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