Rwanda won’t arrest Sudan’s Omar al Bashir at AU summit – Foreign minister

Rwanda will not arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir wanted by the International Criminal court (ICC), says Louise Mushikiwabo, Rwanda’s minister of foreign affairs.

She made the remarks on Thursday while addressing reporters on the sidelines of the ongoing 27th African Union (AU) summit in Rwanda’s Capital, Kigali.

Rwanda hosts the summit from July 10th to 18th under the theme; “2016: African Year of Human Rights, with particular focus on the Rights of Women.”

Bashir has been wanted since 2009 by the ICC on charges of crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide in Sudan’s Darfur region between 2003 and 2008.

The Sudanese leader is expected to join other African heads of state and government at the 27th African Union summit in Kigali.

“President Bashir will be granted his safety and security as a head of state, ICC issues will be addressed by those who are concerned and I don’t think they expect him to be arrested in Rwanda,” Mushikiwabo told local and international reporters gathered at the Kigali Convention Centre, the venue of the AU summit.

She added that at the ongoing summit, African leaders respect a principle that, “none can be arrested while on duty assigned to him by his/her constituency.”

“We will apply the rules put in place by AU than ICC since Rwanda is not anywhere aligned with ICC.”

Mushikiwabo said that Rwanda received a request two days ago from the ICC to arrest and hand over al-Bashir, but the country won’t.

She pointed out that ICC attracted many African countries, but deviated for providing equity justice when it was driven into political matters.

Early this year, during the 26th AU summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, African leaders supported pullout of international criminal court in protest at perceived unfair targeting.

Previously, several African countries including Uganda, South Africa and Djibouti have defied ICC.



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