Home | News    Tuesday 17 August 2010

Botswana says Bashir still vulnerable for arrest on its territory despite AU resolution


August 16, 2010 (WASHINGTON) — The government of Botswana reiterated its position regarding the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir saying the latter will be arrested should he set foot on its territory.

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Botswana Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Phandu Skelemani (The Herald)

Last month the African Union (AU) issued a strongly worded resolution stressing that its members will not cooperate in apprehending Bashir and chided the ICC prosecutor saying he has been making "unacceptable" and "rude" remarks on the case of the Sudanese president and other African cases handled by the Hague Tribunal.

Bashir was indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes in Darfur last year. Last month the court added genocide to the charges, accusing him of orchestrating murders, rapes, and torture in the troubled western region.

Botswana has maintained a position supportive of the ICC and rejecting continent-wide condemnation of the warrant saying it will honour its obligations as a signatory of the Rome Statute which is the founding text of the court.

“We have not surrendered the sovereignty of this country to the AU” Botswana Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Phandu Skelemani told reporters adding that Botswana signed the Rome Statute as a sovereign country.

“The International Criminal Court (ICC) Rome Statute is signed by a Country not AU. Botswana does not fear being isolated by other African countries since they [Botswana] are implementing the international protocols they have signed,” Skelemani added.

“That decision by the AU was a consensus. It was not a unanimous decision. Other countries do not even want the issue to go to a vote,” said the minister.

Botswana Vice president Mompati Merafhe reportedly addressed AU leaders at the summit held in Kampala saying that his country "cannot associate herself with any decision which calls upon her to disregard her obligations to the International Criminal Court".

Merafhe said while Botswana respected the call by other African states for parties to balance their obligations, "Botswana intends to comply with its obligations and to cooperate with the ICC."

He further said that there are no contradictions between the legal instruments of the African Union and the Rome Statute that established the ICC.

"In our view the obligations to the two bodies are not at all in conflict......The heads of state and government have made a commitment to fight impunity, and to protect our constituents against various crimes including crimes against humanity," he added.

Merafhe said his explanation of Botswana’s position was not directed at any particular case, but was addressing the issues of principle.

South Africa has also declared that it will not abide by the AU resolution on cooperating with the ICC.


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  • 17 August 2010 07:08, by Mr Famous Big_Logic_Boy

    Keep up Botswana, this is the real sign of African people, we stand up for Africa continent regardless of east, west, south and nroth. A real African country like Botswana government should pity for the suffering in durfur and Sudan in general. This criminal must be arrested in order to stop arabs from believing that they have overwhelm the continent.

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  • 17 August 2010 07:41, by Sudan virus

    Great,confident and proud African country Botswana.

    Extent my sincere greetings to all citizens of your country in the name of humanity and justice that prevail there.

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  • 17 August 2010 08:11, by Northsudanes

    Bostwana is reall African people and i really like the bostwana government and its people they deserve my respect but all other african leader who afriad to arrest al bahire are coward and bull shite with number one is chad they fuck up

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  • 17 August 2010 11:08, by Angelo Achuil

    It is so encouraging to hear some Countries like Botswana and S. Africa stood their grounds on justice principle.

    If the simple arrest warrant for Omer Hassan Ahmed Al Bashire shakes other crooked leaders in Africa, what would a negative verdict do, a stroke, heart attack or madness? He’s not being sought for slaughtering or hanging, he had simply been asked to come and proves himself innocent in court and he’s refusing to show up.

    All those advocating against ICC are either terrified of their own status (being the next in court) or are benefiting directly from bloodshed of the Darfur genocide. Bashire’s courts are sending many to death every year, but he’s refusing to attend his case in court himself. How ironic!

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  • 17 August 2010 14:20, by Haak

    Bravo! bravo! Bravo!!! Botswana, we as reall Africa with no say, we will remain stand still against the so called African official social criminal with say like dame brutal Bashir. we all know from humanitarian perspectives that, you (Botswana) your not supporting south sudan neither North sudan nor idiotified leaders of Africa but you stand on the international ground, please we apprecaite your loyality to the international affairs. to you dear Botswana minister of international relations maintain that bravery and courage after all Bowswana is self-reliance country, the barbarick Africa corrupt leaders will never touch Botswana in any contexts be it political, economic, socail, religion etc.

    ALUTA CONTINOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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  • 17 August 2010 21:20, by kitir

    Batswana’s decision to honor it obligation towards the ICC in pursuing Bashir for his heinous crime in Darfur it very optimistic decision for the victims genocide survivors in Darfur, this unchanging stance of this country manifest the apparent differences among the African states regarding Bashir and ICC issue, it mean a clear evidence the failure of the NCP to mobilize all African to it side. It unacceptable the some Africans dictators disregards the large scale killing in Darfur and siding the genocidaire giving it more credit to continue committing crimes against the vulnerable black indigenous in Darfur, by elaborating so called a new strategy for Darfur which signify commencement a new chapter of genocide by dismantling the IDPs camps, expelling the humanitarians, instigating tribal clashes, threatening the peace keepers, cutting the essentials life’s necessities [food, water. Sanitation, medical cares, education] from the internal displaced populations, it’s an ethical and moral responsibility to free world to stand firmly face to the cruel regime in Khartoum.NCP Presence on power means prevailing insecurity, risk of slipping the country into new large scale war, since all the indications demonstrate that;the regime orchistering to thwart the referenda in south, achievement of fair negotiated peace agreement in Darfur in a apparent challenge to gigantic effort deployed by national and international to put end for the insecurity in Sudan and the entire region. The only venue to bring the peace in country and preserve it unity is to topple this regime and put in place a Nation unity government comprising all the internal stockholders based on respect of multicultural, multireligious and ethnical diversity, these goals can’t reached unless a vigorous internal and national solidarity to arrest the head of bloody regime in Khartoum.

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  • 17 August 2010 21:35, by Kur

    Yes, criminals are not allowed to set foot on a land where laws govern the life of civilization. It is a shame on the AU to protect evil of greater degree. Bashir will remain a war criminal whether the AU likes it or ot. Only the ICC can declare him innocent not the AU. Until we know who rapes and kills children and women of Darfur, Bashir will remain responsible for those heinous crimes forever.


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