Sudan President Al Bashir to visit Ethiopia on Tuesday

President Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir of Sudan is expected to visit Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Tuesday for an official visit, Sudanese media reported.

Following the arrest warrant issued by ICC in March 4, 2009, international travel of Al Bashir has been limited to certain countries, mainly non-ICC member states.

Until Omar Al Bashir is arrested and transferred to the seat of the Court in The Hague, the case will remain in the Pre-Trial stage. The ICC does not try individuals unless they are present in the courtroom, according to ICC which issued the second arrest warrant on July 12, 2010.

Meanwhile some countries including Ethiopia which is not an ICC member, have been hosting President Al Bashir. In mid June 2015 President Al Bashir has also traveled to an ICC member – South Africa, where ICC’s attempt to arrest was failed.

Escaping Arrest

On June 14, South Africa’s High Court issued an interim order that al-Bashir should not be permitted to leave South Africa absent further proceedings. On June 15, South Africa’s High Court issued an order that South Africa was obligated to arrest al-Bashir. The court found that al-Bashir was not immune from arrest and that AU decisions that member countries should not cooperate in al-Bashir’s arrest could not trump South Africa’s obligation to cooperate with the ICC.

But by the time of the June 15 order, al-Bashir had left the country.

In October, the General Council of South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress, issued a resolution as part of its annual meeting calling for South Africa “to begin the process of withdrawal of its membership of the ICC, preceded by the discussions that are taking place among the member states of the ICC and those taking place within the African Union on the ICC matter.”

The Charges

ICC has charged President Al Bashir for allegedly committing crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crimes of genocide in relation to the fight with armed groups in Darfur with several organised armed groups, in particular the Sudanese Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM).

The Prosecutor of Pre-trial Chamber found that there are reasonable grounds to believe that Omar Al Bashir acted with specific intent to destroy in part the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups. President Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir has been Sudanese president and Commander-in-Chief of the Sudanese Army since October 16, 1993.

The International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur was established by former United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Kofi Annan pursuant the Security Council resolution 1564. The Commission reported to the UN in January 2005 that there was reason to believe that crimes against humanity and war crimes had been committed in Darfur and recommended that the situation be referred to the ICC.

Using its authority under the Rome Statute, the UN Security Council referred the situation in Darfur since 1 July 2002 to the Prosecutor of the ICC in resolution 1593 on 31 March 2005. Following the referral from the UN Security Council, the Prosecutor received the conclusion of the International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur.

In addition, the Office of the Prosecutor requested information from a variety of sources, leading to the collection of thousands of documents. The Prosecutor concluded that the statutory requirements for initiating an investigation were satisfied and decided to open the investigation on 6 June 2005.

 

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