President of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir who has been on the International Criminal Court ( ICC)’s Wanted list for war crimes has applied for a visa to attend the next meeting of the United Nations General Assembly.
This would be the first time the north eastern African president is visiting the United States since the ICC charged him for war crimes in 2009.
“Yes, President Bashir and his delegation have applied for US visas for attending the UN General Assembly meeting,” Bashir’s press secretary Obei Ezzedine told AFP.
This is however not the first time President Bashir has applied for a US visa. In 2014 he applied for one for the same purpose of attending the UN general assembly meeting held at the headquarters in New York but was denied.
The Sudanese foreign minister at the time had called it “a serious violation of the principles and purposes set forth in the Charter of the United Nations.”
The current foreign minister also believes the president has a right to apply for and be granted a visa
“If a country hosting UN institutions refuses to give visas to any other country’s delegation for attending UN activities, then the host country is violating its legal commitment,” Minister Kamal Ismail told a news conference.
The US which supports the ICC indictment has always not been in support of Bashir’s travels. During the swearing in ceremony of President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda US delegates walked out after President Museveni made a snarling remark at the ICC calling the organization a “bunch of useless” people.
Museveni is not the only African leader who is resentful of the ICC, other leaders like President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe have boycotted the ICC for their belief that the organization solely targets Africans.