Amnesty International said today that Uganda should immediately arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and hand him over to the International Criminal Court. Omar al-Bashir, who is on the wanted list of the International Criminal Court, arrived in Kampala this morning to attend the inauguration of President Yoweri Museveni.
“Uganda must comply with its international obligations and arrest Omar al-Bashir, wanted for genocide,” said Muthoni Waniki, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes.
“As a signatory to the Rome Statute, Uganda has an unavoidable obligation to surrender it to the International Criminal Court. Failure to do so is a breach of duty and represents a cruel betrayal of the hundreds of thousands of people who have been killed and displaced during the conflict in Darfur. “
The United Nations Security Council referred the situation in Darfur, Sudan, to the International Criminal Court in 2005. Since 2009, arrest warrants have been pending against President Al-Bashir on charges of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, allegedly committed in Darfur from 2003 to 2008.
President Bashir cannot be allowed to continue evading justice.
In a recent ruling, the South African Supreme Court described the country’s authorities’ “shameful” behavior for failing to detain President Al-Bashir, as was their obligation under South African legislation implementing the Rome Statute, when he traveled to Johannesburg to attend the June 2015 African Union summit meeting.
In March 2010, the Ugandan Parliament passed the ICC bill, which fully incorporated the ICC law into Ugandan law. The law also provides for the arrest and surrender of suspects to the International Criminal Court. In November 2015, in his address to the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the representative of Uganda stated that his country had committed to “support the ICC in combating impunity” and that this commitment remained “an institution”. However, Uganda has been critical of the ICC at times.
“President Bashir cannot be allowed to continue evading justice,” said Muthoni Waniki.
“President Museveni’s government must now proceed with his arrest to make sure that his next trip will be straight to The Hague, where justice awaits him.”