Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Chad Failed to Arrest al-Bashir

The International Criminal Court (ICC) decided today that Chad has not met its obligation to fully cooperate with the court by failing to arrest and surrender Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir during his visit to Chad in August.  Following its decision, pre-trial chamber I of the ICC referred the matter to the Security Council and the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statue, the ICC’s founding treaty.

Mr. al-Bashir is facing charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide with the ICC having issued arrest warrants against him in 2009 and in July last year.  The chamber also concluded that Chad did not fulfil its obligation to consult the chamber by not submitting the question of immunity of Mr. al-Bashir for its determination, and recalled its decision yesterday declaring that Malawi had also failed to cooperate in Mr. al-Bashir’s arrest.

The chamber reaffirmed that there is no conflict between the obligations of States Parties to the Rome Statute towards the court to surrender suspects, and their obligations under customary international law. This reiteration underscores that States Parties, as well as the African Union (AU) cannot refuse to comply with the ICC’s requests for cooperation in this matter.

Under the Rome Statute, States that fail to comply with a request to cooperate with the court may be referred to the Assembly of States Parties or to the Security Council.  “It is for the United Nations Security Council and the Assembly of States Parties to take any measures they may deem appropriate to ensure the full cooperation with the ICC,” said a news release issued by the ICC.

The chamber has previously informed the council and the assembly of Mr. al-Bashir’s visits to Djibouti, Chad and Kenya.

(UN Press Release)

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