Home | News    Saturday 21 September 2013

US embassy promises to issue a visa to Sudanese president soon - report

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

September 20, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese foreign minister, Ali Ahmed Karti, has arrived in New York to attend the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

JPEG - 29.1 kb
Sudanese President Omer Hassan al-Bashir attends on July 15, 2013 the opening session of the African Union Summit on health focusing on HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria in Abuja (PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images)

A diplomatic source told Sudan’s official news agency (SUNA) that the application made by the Sudanese president, Omer Hassan Al-Bashir, to obtain entry visa to the US is still standing, demanding that the US administration meet its obligations as the UN headquarters state.

On Monday, the US state department said it received a visa application for Bashir to attend the 68th session of the UNGA, noting that he should not make such a trip because he is accused of war crimes and genocide by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

But the Sudanese government said that Bashir’s visit would be to the UN headquarters and not to the United States itself which does not have any legal right to object to the participation of any official from any country enjoying full membership of the international organization in the UN activities.

The pro-government, Al-Sudani newspaper, said on Friday that Bashir has obtained clearance of all countries which he will fly through his way to New York to participate in the UNGA’s 68th session.

The newspaper further said that the foreign ministry has received a promise from the US embassy to grant Bashir an entry visa within the next couple of days.

On Thursday, the US state department spokeswoman Marie Harf said that Bashir’s visa application is still pending review.

The US official however, revealed for the first time that the ICC arrest warrant issued for Bashir on alleged war crimes will be a factor in deciding his visa request.

"I don’t have any update for you. There are a variety of considerations in play with respect to President Bashir’s visa request, including the outstanding warrant for his arrest," she said in response to questions by reporters during daily press briefing.

The ICC Pre-Trial chamber, in a decision issued Wednesday, said it had ‘‘… invited the competent US authorities to arrest Omar Al Bashir and surrender him to the Court, in the event he enters their territory.’’

The visa issue has attracted controversy placing the US, a non-signatory to the ICC’s Rome statute, in the spotlight.

The US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) has urged the members of the United Nations to publicly oppose attendance at its General Assembly by Bashir.

“If al-Bashir turns up at the UN General Assembly, it will be a brazen challenge to Security Council efforts to promote justice for crimes in Darfur,” said Elise Keppler, associate international justice program director at HRW.

“The last thing the UN needs is a visit by an ICC fugitive”, she added.

On Thursday, a group of Hollywood actors and activists wrote a letter to Obama urging him to block Bashir’s attendance.

"While we recognize that the U.S. government is obliged to facilitate President Bashir’s visit under the U.N. Headquarters Agreement, we urge you to do everything in your power to prevent the trip," it said.

The letter suggested a number of steps to discourage the Sudanese president from visiting.

The signatories including George Clooney, Don Cheadle, Mia Farrow and Omer Ismail and John Prendergast of the Enough Project said that the US Department of Justice should "explore filing a criminal case against him under 18 USC 1091".

"This law, which codifies the Genocide Accountability Act of 2007, allows for anyone present in the United States to be prosecuted for genocide, even if their crimes were committed abroad" the letter reads in part.

"By publicly raising the threat of such a prosecution and the specter that President Bashir’s privileges and immunities may not extend to genocidal acts, your administration would make an important statement about the U.S. government’s commitment to atrocity prevention and accountability".

"Declaring that the U.S. will only offer the Sudanese delegation the minimum amount of protection mandated by the UN Headquarters Agreement could also affect the Sudanese government’s decision making process… Limiting the number of visas granted to President Bashir’s security detail and imposing specific geographic constraints on those visas could also circumscribe the delegation’s mobility and raise the reputational costs of the trip" it adds.

"In the event that President Bashir remains steadfast in his intent to travel to United Nations headquarters despite these actions, there are a number of steps that can be taken to impede his travel. Our diplomatic corps should encourage countries along President Bashir’s planned flight path to refuse landing rights for his aircraft for refueling and restrict access to their airspace. The U.S. delegation to the United Nations and Ambassador Samantha Power should also encourage senior UN officials and delegations from other countries to publicly refuse to meet with President Bashir or his delegation. Drawing on the precedent set by a similar rejection of former Iranian President Ahmadinejad in 2011, our diplomats could also coordinate a walk-out of the UN General Assembly session in protest of President Bashir’s presence".

Several UN diplomats told Reuters they were surprised by Bashir’s request to come to the United States. One Latin American ambassador said it was a "travesty of international justice."

ICC member countries are obligated, under the Rome Statute, to cooperate with the world court in arresting of suspects.

In the past, however, many countries, both members and non-members of the Hague-based court have avoided hosting the Sudanese leader, whose visit to the US or UN will be the first-ever for any individual indicted by the ICC for war crimes.

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL REACTS

Amnesty International, in a statement issued Friday, said member states of UNGA must demand that Al-Bashir surrenders to ICC where he faces charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

“Despite the ICC arrest warrants against the President, two other government officials and an alleged Janjaweed militia leader, they are all being protected by the Sudanese government which is refusing to cooperate with the Court,” said Tawanda Hondora, deputy director of law and policy at Amnesty International.

Sudan’s decision to send a person accused of orchestrating these most serious crimes to attend the UN General Assembly, he added, is a grave insult to the thousands of people unlawfully killed, millions displaced and countless women and children raped in Darfur over the last decade.

(ST)

Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 21 September 2013 07:59, by Chol A.

    Bashir is just checking the world emotion about him is not traveling at all to attend UN Assembly, only his telagate will go to New York but he will decline the visa even if the US approved him.

    repondre message

Comment on this article



The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.



Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


Remove Sudan from the terror list 2020-02-19 07:04:27 By David L. Phillips Khartoum – Sudanese deserve to be rewarded for overthrowing the dictator Omar al-Bashir. Without a peace dividend, the economy will remain stagnant and shadowy forces from (...)

South Sudan: Revert strictly to 10 states 2020-02-16 15:56:54 By James Gatdet Dak Lampuar By unilaterally creating administrative areas---when the action is supposed to strictly revert the country to the constitutional 10 states----South Sudan's Presidency (...)

Does Kiir deserve our thanks for abolishing 32 states? 2020-02-16 11:44:03 By Duop Chak Wuol In October 2015, President Salva Kiir issued a decree, expanding the original ten states to 28. In January 2017, Kiir issued another presidential order creating an additional (...)


MORE






Latest Press Releases


S. Korea supports UN communities building resilience project in Sudan’s Blue Nile 2019-09-09 09:26:41 UNDP Sudan September 5, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - An agreement was signed on 5th of September between the Korean Ambassador, His Excellency. Lee Ki-Seong and Dr. Selva Ramachandran, Resident (...)

Sudanese lawyers and Human rights defenders back calls for civil rule 2019-04-26 10:22:06 Press statement by 55 Sudanese lawyers and Human rights defenders on Sudan Sit-in and Peaceful Protest Khartoum -24/04/2019 We, the undersigned (55) Sudanese lawyers and human rights defenders, (...)

South Sudan’s Lafon youth condemn killings of civilians by Pari community 2019-04-03 21:54:29 Press Statement on the Fighting between Pari/ Pacidi and Lotuko/Lokiri on 24/3/2019 Release by The Lafon County Youth Union: We, the Lafon County Youth Union hereby condemn the atrocities and (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2020 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.