SA violated its agreement with the ICC by not arresting Al Bashir rules court

The International Criminal Court (ICC) ruled on Thursday that South Africa violated its agreement with the court by not arresting Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir for crimes against humanity.

At the time of Al Bashir's visit to South Africa, the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) Executive Director took the South African government to court to lobby for the arrest of the Sudanese president.

Executive Director at the Southern Africa Litigation Centre, Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh says they the welcome the ICC's ruling.

Even though the ICC did not make a referral to either the Assembly of States Parties or the United Nations Security Council we didn't feel that such a referral was necessary in the circumstances.

Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh, Executive Director, Southern Africa Litigation Centre

Looking at the situations of other countries in similar circumstances, who were referred to the Assembly of State Parties and/or United Nations Security Council, where action hasn't been taken against any of those countries says Ramjathan-Keogh.

In this instance the ICC has taken note of the sensitivities around South Africa's ongoing membership of the ICC and failed attempt to withdraw from the body.

Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh, Executive Director, Southern Africa Litigation Centre

Ramjathan-Keogh says she hopes that Al-Bashir will not set foot in South Africa again following Thursday's ruling.

She also adds that they will to see how South Africa develops its policy positions on withdrawal from the ICC and whether or not that remains a high priority for the ANC.

It is possible that within the next two years, the ANC and South African government's position will change with regards to the ICC, concludes Ramjathan-Keogh

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This article first appeared on 702 : SA violated its agreement with the ICC by not arresting Al Bashir rules court


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