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South Africa court to rule on Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir arrest

A South African court will decide on Monday whether Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir should be arrested for war crimes and genocide.

The Pretoria High Court will rule on whether he should be handed over to the International Criminal Court (ICC) who have charged him with the crimes.

President Bashir is in Johannesburg for an African Union (AU) summit.

He is accused of committing war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide during the Darfur conflict.

The UN says that about 400,000 people in Sudan have died and more than two million have fled their homes since fighting began in 2003.

Government forces and allied Arab militias are accused of targeting black African civilians in the fight against the rebels.

On Sunday, the court ordered Mr Bashir not to leave the country until the case had been heard.

As a member of the ICC, South Africa is obliged to arrest anyone charged by the court. Before the summit, the ICC issued a press statement urging the South African government “to spare no effort in ensuring the execution of the arrest warrant”.

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However, South Africa signalled its intent to ignore this by granting diplomatic immunity to all leaders at the summit; which the government argues is standard international practice.

The petition to arrest Mr Bashir was made privately by the Southern Africa Litigation Centre, a Johannesburg-based human-rights group.

The BBC’s Nomsa Maseko reports that lawyers representing the government are expected to argue that the Sudanese president should not be arrested.

Tensions

President Bashir was welcomed by South African officials as he arrived in Johannesburg. After the court announced it would rule on a request to arrest him, he posed for a group photo with other African leaders.

The High Court initially said it would issue its ruling on Sunday. But it later postponed the hearing until Monday, when the summit is due to end.

A South African court will decide on Monday whether Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir should be arrested for war crimes and genocide.

The Pretoria High Court will rule on whether he should be handed over to the International Criminal Court (ICC) who have charged him with the crimes.

President Bashir is in Johannesburg for an African Union (AU) summit.

He is accused of committing war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide during the Darfur conflict.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

The UN says that about 400,000 people in Sudan have died and more than two million have fled their homes since fighting began in 2003.

Government forces and allied Arab militias are accused of targeting black African civilians in the fight against the rebels.

On Sunday, the court ordered Mr Bashir not to leave the country until the case had been heard.

As a member of the ICC, South Africa is obliged to arrest anyone charged by the court. Before the summit, the ICC issued a press statement urging the South African government “to spare no effort in ensuring the execution of the arrest warrant”.

However, South Africa signalled its intent to ignore this by granting diplomatic immunity to all leaders at the summit; which the government argues is standard international practice.

The petition to arrest Mr Bashir was made privately by the Southern Africa Litigation Centre, a Johannesburg-based human-rights group.

The BBC’s Nomsa Maseko reports that lawyers representing the government are expected to argue that the Sudanese president should not be arrested.

Tensions

President Bashir was welcomed by South African officials as he arrived in Johannesburg. After the court announced it would rule on a request to arrest him, he posed for a group photo with other African leaders.

The High Court initially said it would issue its ruling on Sunday. But it later postponed the hearing until Monday, when the summit is due to end.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Source:https://www.bbc.com

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