SA court to rule on Sudan's Omar al-Bashir arrest

JOHANNESBURG - A South African court is due to decide shortly on whether Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir should be arrested for war crimes and genocide.

The Pretoria High Court will rule on whether he should be handed over to the International Criminal Court (ICC) who have charged him with the crimes.

President Bashir is in Johannesburg for an African Union (AU) summit.

He is accused of committing war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide during the Darfur conflict.

The UN says that about 400,000 people in Sudan have died and more than two million have fled their homes since fighting began in 2003.

Government forces and allied Arab militias are accused of targeting black African civilians in the fight against the rebels.

On Sunday, the court ordered Mr Bashir not to leave the country until the case had been heard.

On Monday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the ICC's warrant for the arrest of Mr Bashir must be implemented by countries who have signed up to the court's statutes.

As a member of the ICC, South Africa is obliged to arrest anyone charged by the court. Before the summit, the ICC issued a press statement urging the South African government "to spare no effort in ensuring the execution of the arrest warrant".

However, South Africa signalled its intent to ignore this by granting diplomatic immunity to all leaders at the summit - which the government argues is standard international practice.

The petition to arrest Mr Bashir was made privately by the Southern Africa Litigation Centre, a Johannesburg-based human-rights group.

The BBC's Nomsa Maseko reports that lawyers representing the government are expected to argue that the Sudanese president should not be arrested.

Comments (2)

the hague is a european project intended to humiliate africans. their leaders are also guilt of human atrocities yet they go scot- free. he may have committed these crimes but i don't think africans should handover their people to europeans for punishments. perhaps african need to create their own system that deals with these issues. just my thoughts.

taurai - 15 June 2015

..but at the momment before we create our own system let him be arrested vangajaira kungouraisa vanhu se huku

sudan - 15 June 2015

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