From Reuters via Times Live
South African President Jacob Zuma defended the decision to let Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir evade an arrest warrant and leave the country in June, saying on Thursday the wanted leader had had immunity as a guest of the African Union.
Bashir – accused of masterminding genocide during Sudan’s Darfur conflict – was allowed to leave an AU summit and fly home in defiance of a local court ruling ordering his detention under a warrant from the International Criminal Court (ICC).
“Bashir’s coming to South Africa, it was on the invitation of the AU (African Union),” Zuma said in his first comments on the incident since Bashir’s departure.
“He is the guest of the AU,” Zuma told opposition politicians who demanded an explanation in parliament.
Bashir’s exit triggered an international outcry and highlighted deep rifts between the global court and African powers who have accused the ICC of bias against the continent.
The Hague-based tribunal – set up to try the worst crimes when local courts fail – has so far only charged Africans.
Read more at Times Live