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ICC complains to UNSC against Kenya's hosting of Bashir

cricket Updated: Aug 28, 2010 22:08 IST
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Angry over Sudan President Omar-al Bashir's open defiance of its arrest warrants, the International Criminal Court has complained to the UN Security Council that Kenya, which hosted him this week, had failed its obligation to arrest him.

Bashir travelled to Kenya on Saturday along with other regional leaders for the signing of Kenya's new constitution and was accorded a welcome like any other head of state.

The Hague-based ICC has issued two arrest warrants for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes for the Sudanese leader who was recently re-elected in his country.

"The Republic of Kenya has a clear obligation to cooperate with the Court in relation to the enforcement of such warrants of arrest," the ICC said.

The international court said the obligation stems both from the UN Security Council Resolution 1593, whereby the UNSC urged all States and other international organisations to cooperate fully with the Court, and from article 87 of the Statute of the Court, to which the Republic of Kenya is a State Party.

The ICC called on the Security Council to "take any measure they may deem appropriate" about Bashir's visit to Kenya where he was attending a public function to promulgate the country's new constitution.

The ceremony was attended by several other African heads of State and other dignitaries.

In March 2009, Bashir became the first sitting Head of State to be indicted by the ICC on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. The arrest warrant for genocide followed this year.

Since the warrant was issued, however, Bashir stays close to home and does not venture out of Africa because of fear that other ICC parties may arrest him.

On the other hand, several African countries have spoken out against the ICC action as an attempt to impose the will of the West on leaders of smaller nations.

They question why US President George Bush has not been indicted for starting an illegal war in Iraq.

Like the US, Sudan is not a member of the ICC and the case was referred to the ICC by the Security Council.

Last month, the African Union asked the ICC to suspend the arrest warrant for 12 months until the regional body could carry out its own investigation.

"Let us look at the position of the ICC," said Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika, head of the pan-African organisation, at the time, at the three-day African Union Summit in Kampala, Uganda.

"Do they have a right to try Sudan, which is not a member of the ICC? I think it is something we have to look at," he said.