ICC ruling on South Africa’s failure to arrest al-Bashir
A ruling by the International Criminal Court (ICC) over South Africa’s failure to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in 2015 is expected by the on July 6.
This as the ruling ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) subcommittee on international relations reiterated calls for the country to withdraw from the Rome Statute which created the ICC.
Al-Bashir faces 10 charges by the ICC, including three of genocide as well as war crimes and crimes against humanity relating to the conflict in the western Darfur region.
In a statement on Friday, the ICC said South Africa’s prosecutor and representatives have been invited to attend the ruling.
The ruling follows an unprecedented hearing in April where South Africa made submissions on why the country believes it didn’t break any obligations to the tribunal.
The ICC does not have a police force and it depends on member states to arrest and hand over wanted suspects.
The charges were laid by a prosecutor at the ICC in 2008.
The charges are opposed by the African Union, League of Arab States, Russia and China.
Continues to travel
The Sudanese president denied the charges against him and continues to travel to various countries with impunity.
Sudan’s deadly conflict broke out in 2003 when ethnic minority groups took up arms against Bashir’s Arab-dominated government, which launched a brutal counter-insurgency.
Sudan has not signed the Rome Statute and argues that the ICC therefore does not have a right to execute a warrant.
However, in 2005 the UN Security Council asked the ICC to investigate the crimes in Darfur, where at least 300 000 people have been killed and 2.5 million displaced, according to UN figures.
South Africa announced it had told the United Nations in October that it was pulling out of the ICC following the Bashir debacle.
But the High Court in February ordered the country to reverse the decision, saying it was unconstitutional.
In a statement referring to the ICC, the ANC’s NEC subcommittee on international relations said international law should treat all countries equally.
“International law should never be skewed in favour of powerful states who have for centuries used the international system to their advantage and to advance their own interests at the expense of the poor countries of the South,” the statement reads.