Al-Bashir Arrives Sudan Against S’African Court Order | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe

News, Slider

Al-Bashir Arrives Sudan Against S’African Court Order

Posted: Jun 16, 2015 at 12:05 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Dotun Akano –  Lagos


Sudanese President, Omar al-Bashir, arrived his country’s capital, Khartoum, from Johannesburg on Monday, after a South African court ordered him not to leave as it decided whether to arrest him over alleged war crimes.

Bashir arrived to a  ‘red carpet welcome’ and was met by a large crowd at Khartoum airport. Dressed in his traditional white robes, a triumphant Bashir waved his trademark cane in the air as he stepped off the plane and shouted: “God is greatest!”

Omar Al-Bashir

Omar Al-Bashir

He then drove around outside the airport in an open-topped car, waving his cane amid a crowd of around 1,000 supporters.

The crowds beat drums, sang traditional songs and waved Sudanese flags, chanting: “With our blood and our souls, we sacrifice for you Bashir!”

Sudan’s foreign minister, Ibrahim Ghandour, in a news conference said al-Bashir’s visit to South Africa could have been “normal”, but the enemies of Sudan and Africa tried to create a drama. “What was being circulated was propaganda, and his participation confirms the president is one of Africa’s leaders”.

Ghandour said South Africa’s government told them that al-Bashir’s participation at the Africa Union summit was a source of “pride. Bashir will continue to attend international summits “as normal,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Human Rights Watch condemned South Africa for allowing Al-Bashir to leave ahead of the court ruling. “The world stood with South Africa to fight apartheid but it stands for impunity for mass murder of Africans,” Kenneth Roth, director of Human Rights Watch, said on Twitter.

“South Africa has shamefully flouted ICC and domestic court to free a man wanted for mass murder of Africans,” he added.

In Nigeria, a leading human rights group, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) on Monday asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) to refer South Africa to the United Nations (UN) Security Council for allowing Sudan’s President, Omar al-Bashir to leave the country, ahead of a court ruling on whether he should be transferred to the ICC to stand trial on genocide and war crimes charges.

SERAP’s Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, in a statement, lamented that if it was indeed true that the government of South Africa had blatantly disregarded the process of its own court to free international fugitive from justice, then there should be consequences otherwise the authority and credibility of the ICC and the entire regime of international justice would be seriously undermined.

According to SERAP, “the South African authorities shamefully told the court that President Al-Bashir had gone shopping when they knew that he was already on his way back to Khartoum. This is a slap on the wrist, and clearly exposes the judiciary to ridicule and disrespect. It also shows that the government has absolutely no respect for the rule of law and the independence and integrity of the judiciary.

“As provided for by the Rome Statute of the ICC, the court should now request UN Security Council sanctions against South Africa. Under the Rome Statute, the UN Security Council may do what it deems appropriate. Without effective sanctions and repercussions, states like South Africa are not likely to be held accountable for breaching their international obligations and commitments,” SERAP warned.