Sudanese President, Omar al-Bashir, undermined the ruling of a court in South Africa where he had gone to participate in the Africa Union Summit which stopped him from leaving the country, in connection with his indictment for war crime by the International Criminal Court (ICC). al-Bashir left South Africa today for Sudan without any challenge.
A source confirmed in Johannesburg that a plane bearing President al-Bashir, took off from the Waterkloof Airforce base outside Pretoria, with Mr. al-Bashir.
The source said that al-Bashir’s aircraft, must have been flown from Oliver Tambo International Airport to Waterkloof, yesterday night to facilitate his escape.
Meanwhile, William Mokhari, a South African government lawyer, told the North Gauteng High Court that it was not clear if al-Bashir’s name was on the list of officials who boarded a plane to Sudan.
However, a Sudanese government official, said on condition of anonymity, that al-Bashir was expected back in Sudan today afternoon.
The Sudanese President’s arrival in South Africa for the 25th African Union (AU) Summit sparked an outcry and forced Pretoria to defend its controversial guest.
The South African Litigation Centre (SALC), said it had sought a court injunction to order the government to arrest Sudanese President al-Bashir and transfer him to the ICC.
It said this was for him to face the indictment on war crimes and crimes against humanity, charges over the long-drawn internecine war in Sudan’s Darfur region.
SALC said the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, has said the warrant for Mr. al-Bashir’s arrest must be implemented by countries who have signed up to the Hague court’s statutes.
It said as a result of this, South Africa, as a signatory of the Rome Statute establishing the court, was bound to arrest the Sudanese leader.
SALC insisted that the court’s warrant for the arrest of President al-Bashir on charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes was a matter that should be treated seriously. [myad]