Rwanda: We’ll Not Arrest Al Bashir

Sudanese president, Omar Al Bashir

Rwanda will not arrest embattled Sudan President Omar Al Bashir when he visits the country this weekend for the African Union Summit, this Chimp Corps report.

Rwanda Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo on Thursday told press in the country’s capital, Kigali, that all guests will be fully protected by her government.

“We received a request two days ago from the International Criminal Court to arrest and hand over Al Bashir,” said Mushikiwabo.

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“But we see this as a distraction.  Rwanda is not a signatory to the Rome Statute and has no obligation to arrest him,” she emphasised.

Al Bashir is facing two ICC arrest warrants for five counts of crimes against humanity, two counts of war crimes and three counts of genocide.

All States Parties to the Rome Statute have the obligation to execute the warrants of arrest against Al Bashir.

The situation in Darfur, Sudan, was referred to the Court by the United Nations Security Council in its resolution 1593 of 31 March 2005.

The Prosecutor opened an investigation in June 2005.

On 4 March 2009 and 12 July 2010, respectively, the ICC issued two arrest warrants against Omar Al Bashir for five counts of crimes against humanity (murder, extermination, forcible transfer, torture and rape), two counts of war crimes (intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population as such or against individual civilians not taking part in hostilities, and pillaging), and three counts of genocide allegedly committed against the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups in Darfur, Sudan, from 2003 to 2008.

Bashir denies the charges as he continues travelling across the continent.

South Africa, Kenya, Djibouti and Uganda have since refused to facilitate Bashir’s arrest.

The ICC this week referred the decision on the non-compliance by Uganda and Djibouti to arrest and surrender Omar Al-Bashir to the United Nations Security Council and the Assembly of State Parties to the Rome Statute.

Uganda expressed surprise that South Africa was not referred to the Security Council as well, accusing ICC of double standards.

During Bashir’s visit to Uganda in May, President Museveni described ICC as a “bunch of useless people” for reportedly spearheading the West’s political agenda instead of dispensing justice.


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