“South Africa must provide written reasons to explain failure to arrest al-Bashir”- ICC

The International Criminal Court told South Africa’s government to explain why it failed to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir when he attended an African Union summit in Johannesburg in June.

Bashir, accused of masterminding genocide in Darfur, was able to leave an African Union summit in South Africa and fly back home, in defiance of a ruling by a South African court ordering his detention under a warrant from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The Hague-based ICC asked South Africa to explain the events surrounding al-Bashir’s departure on June 15 even after the country’s High Court ordered the government to ensure that he didn’t leave as the court ruled on his arrest. South Africa must provide written reasons no later than Oct. 5, the ICC said in a statement published on its website.

South Africa, a member of the ICC, is obliged to enforce warrants from The Hague-based tribunal.

The ICC said in cases where one of its members fails to cooperate, the tribunal may refer the matter to the Assembly of States Parties, the ICC’s governing body.

It can also take the matter up with the UN Security Council, which established the court and has the power to impose sanctions.

President Jacob Zuma has defended the decision to let al-Bashir leave the country, saying as a leader, he had immunity as a guest of the African Union.

Meanwhile, Pretoria has said it would review its membership of the ICC and challenge a high court ruling that found the state erred in letting al-Bashir leave.

About Khalid Al Mouahidi 3672 Articles
Khalid Al Mouahidi : A binational from the US and Morocco, Khalid El Mouahidi has worked for several american companies in the Maghreb Region and is currently based in Casablanca, where he is doing consulting jobs for major international companies . Khalid writes analytical pieces about economic ties between the Maghreb and the Mena Region, where he has an extensive network