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Advocacy groups: Malawi should implement ICC’s Bashir arrest warrant


By Toby Collins

October 13, 2011 (LONDON) – Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International on Thursday called upon the Malawian government to action the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) arrest warrant for the president of Sudan, Omer al-Bashir.

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President of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, Khartoum (Reuters)

Bashir arrived on Thursday in Lilongwe, Malawi’s capital, to attend a summit of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) - a 19-state regional oranisation for free trade in eastern and southern Africa.

The ICC submitted an arrest warrant for Bashir in March 2009 on counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. A second warrant on charges of genocide was submitted to the Sudanese government in 2010.

Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika said last March said he is opposed to the arrest of African leaders by the international court, stressing they can only be tried by their domestic courts.

“Malawi should uphold its commitment to justice for grave crimes by cooperating with the ICC,” said Elise Keppler, international justice senior counsel at the international advocacy group, HRW.

“President Mutharika’s public reluctance to back the ICC is unacceptable,” said Marek Marczynski, Research, Policy and Campaign Manager of Amnesty International’s Campaign for International Justice.

Despite the two decision of the war crimes court, Bashir has travelled to Chad, Kenya and Djibouti, all signatories to the Rome Statute (RS) – the treaty which established the ICC. He has also visited states which are not party to the RS.

However the Sudanese president has had to cancel several trips since his ICC indictment.

In 2008 he cancelled a trip to the Smart Partnership programme for developing nations in RS signatory, Zambia.

In 2009 Bashir missed the inauguration of South African president, Jacob Zuma, allegedly under threat of arrest. He also missed the Organisation of the Islamic Conference in RS signatory Turkey after EU pressure on the host.

In 2010 Bashir cancelled his trip to RS signatory, Central Africa Republic to celebrate its independence and the African-European summit in Libya.

In May 2011 Bashir failed to attend the inauguration ceremony of the president of RS signatory, Uganda; Yoweri Museveni, due to “pre-commitments”.

In June 2011 a trip Bashir had planned from Iran to China was delayed by the refusal of Turkmenistan and Tajikistan to allow him access to their airspace. Tajikistan signed the RS in 2008 but Turkmenistan is not a member of the ICC.

Also in June "pressing engagements" prevented Bashir from attending an economic forum in RS signatory, Malaysia.


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  • 14 October 2011 09:54, by Makuen Cinhomwan.

    Malawi Government did a very silly mistake by not handing president Bashir to ICC since Bashire had commited war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur of Sudan.Therefore,president Bashire must face the justice like others because he killed thousands of innocent civilians within Darfur .I strongly blamed ICC for failing to arrest Bashire.iam sure one hundred % God will judge P.Bashiree

    repondre message

    • 14 October 2011 14:43

      By Bona Andrew
      Brother you have say it all’ this fugitive leader must face justic one day.i only blame Sudanese people for hosting this man please stand up and say he would not rule us by turning out as protest day and night until he will hide like the rests of the arab leader.
      sudanese people i address directly please come out to toppled this bloody regime, see he has avioded many important trips

      repondre message

    • 14 October 2011 14:49

      By Bona Andrew
      Criminal leader look like a king of the earth you run but your days are numbers, keep killing but the blood of poor people will be waiting for you to pay their prices

      repondre message

  • 18 April 2013 14:52, by dennishobson

    cvIivlCV8aHaHYeX1TXaYBD0JSvdEzssanyong madeira plastica composite decking I’d have to check with you here. Which is not something I usually do! I enjoy reading a post that will make people think. Also, thanks for allowing me to comment!

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