Observer criticizes Uganda for not surrendering Sudan’s Bashir to ICC

A Sudanese observer says President Omar al-Bashir’s returned to Khartoum on Thursday from a one-day visit to Uganda in defiance of an international warrant for his arrest on charges of genocide.

Mosaad Mohamed Ali, Executive Director of the African Centre for Peace and Justice Studies, told Radio Tamazuj that Uganda had an obligation to arrest Bashir as a signatory to the Rome Statute.

He sees the visit as a challenge to the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC).

On Thursday, President Bashir participated in the fifth swearing-in ceremony of the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.

According to Mosaad, President Bashir’s successful visit to Kampala shows that the African Union or the African countries plan to strengthen the policy of impunity, especially crimes against humanity and crimes of genocide, as well as crimes against international humanitarian law, referring also to Bashir’s previous visit to South Africa last year.

He pointed out that there was a move by local rights groups in Uganda to petition the international community in order to put pressure on the Ugandan government to arrest President Bashir of Sudan.

Amnesty International had called on Uganda to arrest Bashir immediately and hand him over to the ICC.

Former head of the UN Mission in Sudan, Mukesh Kapila, also urged the judiciary and the Ugandan government to abide by its responsibilities towards the international law to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on arrival to their territory.

Photo: Bashir greets his counterpart from South Sudan, Salva Kiir, at the swearing-in ceremony yesterday (Uganda Media Centre)