Home | News    Thursday 29 March 2012

US warns Malawi not to host Sudan’s Bashir at AU summit

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March 28, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The United States told Malawi that the hold on hundreds of millions of dollars of aid may remain in place if it decides to allow Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir to attend the African Union (AU) summit next June.

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FILE - Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir arrives in Maalwi October 12, 2011

Last week, the US announced that it is suspending $350 million allocated to Malawi through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) citing deteriorating economic and political situation in the country.

"The MCC Board expressed very serious concerns about the economic and political situation in Malawi, and emphasized the need for the Government of Malawi to respect the rights of its citizens and civil society organizations to assemble and speak freely," the MCC statement said.

The US body also said that Malawi’s hosting of Bashir last year was a contributing factor to the decision.

"Malawi’s decision to allow Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to attend a trade summit in Lilongwe, despite the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) outstanding warrant for his arrest, further deepened MCC’s concerns," said the statement.

On Monday, the MCC’s deputy vice president for east and southern Africa, Andrew Moyock, told journalists in Lilongwe through a video conference that the Malawi will be assessed in three months time.

According to the Nyasa Times Moyock warned that any re-evaluation will take into consideration whether Malawi hosts the Sudanese leader in the AU summit.

The US official said Malawi’s chances to qualify for the funding will be greatly affected if Bashir ended up visiting again, adding that will would be in violation of its obligations under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which it ratified on 19 September 2002.

“The ball is in Malawi’s court, we will wait and see how the matter will be handled,” Moyock said.

The chairperson of the organising committee for the summit, Sidik Mia told media in Malawi that the government had sent invitations to all countries with AU membership including Sudan.

He would not say whether Bashir has confirmed attendance.

The Hague-based court issued two arrest warrants for Bashir on 10 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Darfur and as a signatory to the ICC’s statute, Malawi was obligated to execute the warrants and arrest the Sudanese leader on its soil.

Malawian President had previously said that African leaders should not be dragged to the ICC for offences committed in Africa.

At the time US Congressman Frank Wolf called on President Barack Obama to cut aid to Malawi.

“We’re asking that the Millennium Challenge (Account) grant be pulled back and canceled, totally canceled, and all foreign aid be ceased. Here we’re going to give American taxpayer dollars in these tight economic times to a country that has welcomed Bashir and that’s inappropriate,” Wolf said.

Malawi’s budget has traditionally relied on aid for about 40% of its funding.

(ST)

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  • 29 March 2012 11:35, by Corrector

    The United States does not even recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC. This article is inconsistent with the position of The United States regarding Sudan and The ICC. At least according to more credible news sources such as The Wall Street Journal & Reuters.

    repondre message

    • 29 March 2012 13:22, by Lorolokin

      I think with Barrak Hussein Obama in power the United State is becoming a bunch of crap, how could you use aid in such a situation, why don’t you says the truth that Basher is a wanted pugitive and advice Malawi not to host him and that is all instead of bla bla bla shit, Obama has to go we need republican who act not Democrat who speak otherwise action speak lauder than word. Hell.

      Kinkak.

      repondre message

  • 29 March 2012 13:14, by wad balad

    The Americans think they can control Africans with thier money. But it actually makes us stronger and makes us work harder for self suffiency. We at least in Sudan are on that track. whats 350 million or any amount if they will only use it to control you everytime? Only the weak will fall for the devils trick.

    repondre message

    • 29 March 2012 15:39, by Justice Seeker

      Though I may not deny the uselessness of African Leaders for our Continent including Bashir, I am very much astonished with the behavior of successive US politicians assuming their aid has benefited Africa. I suggest all the bunch of shameless arrogant to read "Dead Aid" by Moyo how we could be be better off without their useless aid. Amen!!!

      repondre message

    • 29 March 2012 16:47, by zulu

      Is Sudan stronger now without US backing? Com’n fools.

      repondre message

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