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Sudanese President Has an International Warrant for His Arrest on Charges of Human Rights Violations

Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir

Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir

A South African judge has issued an interim order to prevent visiting Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir from leaving the country due to an international warrant for his arrest on charges of human rights violations.

The International Criminal Court has called on South Africa to arrest al-Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity over atrocities allegedly committed in the conflict in Darfur.

Judge Hans Fabricuis urged the South African government to take “all necessary steps” to prevent al-Bashir from leaving the country, but he postponed until Monday a hearing on whether to order the Sudanese leader’s arrest on the ICC warrant.

But an arrest warrant for al-Bashir could prove moot after all. South Africa’s Eyewitness News quotes Sudan’s Information Minister Ahmed Bilal Osman as saying the Sudanese president has already left Johannesburg and is on his way home.

Reuters, quoting local media, reports that Fabricuis said if al-Bashir were allowed to leave, it would damage South Africa’s reputation.

Even so, South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) declared soon afterward that the ICC is “no longer useful for the purposes for which it was intended,” according to Reuters, which said “[An] arrest in South Africa appears unlikely because President Jacob Zuma’s government has given immunity to any leader or delegate attending the AU summit.”


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