Due to the failure of Uganda and Djibouti to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir – a fugitive wanted by the International Criminal Court, the ICC now plans to refer both countries to the United Nations Security Council.
The ICC said in a statement, “the Republics of Uganda and Djibouti had failed to comply with the request for arrest and surrender of Omar al-Bashir to the ICC”.
The statement added that both countries will be referred to the United Nations Security Council as well as the Assembly of States Parties (ASP).
President Omar al-Bashir traveled to Kampala, Uganda in May to attend Yoweri Museveni’s swearing-in. He was also in Djibouti in the same month to attend the swearing-in of Djibouti president Ismail Omar Guelleh.
President Bashir has been wanted by the ICC for war crimes committed during the Darfur conflict in Sudan. Uganda and Djibouti being members of the ASP are bound by law to arrest President Omar al-Bashir and hand him over to the ICC.
African leaders have however refused to comply. Last year, President al-Bashir was able to attend the African Union summit without being arrested by the host, South Africa.
At the swearing-in of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, Museveni ridiculed the ICC, calling them a “bunch of useless people. This prompted the US diplomats who were present at the swearing-in to leave.
The ICC has often time been condemned by African leaders for targeting only Africans. This has prompted some countries to consider withdrawing from the ICC.
Bashir also applied for a US visa in May in order to be able to attend the UN General Assembly meeting in September. He had previously applied for a US visa in 2014, which he was denied.
Sudanese Foreign Minister supported Bashir’s move to apply for the US visa. According to him, “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.