ICC prosecutor: cut off aid for countries refusing to arrest al-Bashir

[JURIST] International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] chief prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo [official profile] said Monday that economic or other aid should be refused to those countries that assist Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir [ICC materials; JURIST news archive] in evading the arrest warrant that was issued against him in 2010. Al-Bashir's government has dismissed the case against its president as politically motivated and without sufficient evidence of the alleged crimes. Ocampo argued that countries will arrest al-Bashir eventually if they are cut off from aid, but the current problem is that such measures have not yet been taken. The prosecutor briefed [press release] the UN Security Council [official website] on Tuesday on the situation in Darfur. Ocampo pointed out that crimes against humanity and genocide have stopped and stressed that al-Bashir has used various strategies to maintain his power in the country such as threats to the international community to commit new crimes in other areas of the Sudan. The prosecutor expressed his concern that the failure to arrest al-Bashir would undermine the council's authority.

The ICC had faced difficulties in enforcing its arrest warrant against al-Bashir mainly because of the lack of support by neighbor states that assist the president or refuse to arrest him. In May, the US House of Representatives Appropriations Committee [official website] approved [JURIST report] legislation that would suspend aid to countries that host al-Bashir. The legislation has to be voted on by the full House of Representatives and then reconciled with a separate Senate version. In November, the Kenyan High Court ruled [JURIST report] that al-Bashir has to be arrest when he visit the country again. After al-Bashir's second visit [JURIST report], the court held that the country, as a signatory of the ICC Rome Statute, is obliged to enforce ICC's arrest warrant. A month earlier, the ICC demanded [JURIST report] an explanation for the Republic of Malawi's failure to arrest the Sudanese president.

 

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