Sudan′s Omar al-Bashir heads home, wanted by South African court | News | DW | 15.06.2015
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Sudan's Omar al-Bashir heads home, wanted by South African court

President Omar al-Bashir's plane has landed in Sudan. The leader left South Africa to dodge a possible arrest over war crime accusations from the International Criminal Court.

The Sudanese president left South Africa on Monday to dodge arrest after a judge ordered he remain in Johannesberg due to an International Criminal Court (ICC) order.

Bashir is wanted by the international war crimes court for his alleged responsibility in crimes committed during the Darfur conflict, in which more than 300,000 people were killed and over two million displaced.

South African court orders arrest

High Court judges in the country expressed their concerns about authorities not complying with the judge's decision and ordered that the police immediately detain Bashir. "The respondents are forthwith compelled to take all reasonable steps to arrest President Bashir…and detain him pending a formal request from the International Criminal Court" Judge Dunstan Mlambo announced.

Mlambo also criticized the government for allowing Bashir to leave the country, saying a failure to arrest the Sudanese leader was "inconsistent with the constitution of the Republic of South Africa."

African countries 'bearing the brunt'

The ICC's orders for arresting a war criminal are to be implemented by all countries signatory to the international court's charter. On June 5 however, South Africa's government granted diplomatic immunity to delegates participating in the African Union summit, which began on Sunday and which Bashir attended together with other heads of state from the continent.

However, problems arose when Southern Africa Litigation Center, a rights group, went to a court in Pretoria asking for the Sudanese leader's arrest. On Sunday, the court ordered al-Bashir to remain in South Africa due to the ICC arrest order.

African Union countries have asked the ICC to stop proceedings against presidents in office and said they would not force any member states to arrest a leader accused of crimes against humanity. They have also said that African and Eastern European countries "unjustifiably bear the brunt of the ICC's decisions."

mg/rc (dpa, AP)

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