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Sudan Tribune

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AU moves summit to Ethiopia after Malawi refuses Bashir’s attendance

By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

June 12, 2012 (ADDIS ABABA) – The African Union (AU) has decided to hold its upcoming summit in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, after Malawi insisted that the Sudanese president, Omer al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), not attend the AU summit to be held on its soil.

Sudanese president, Omar al Bashir (Getty)
Sudanese president, Omar al Bashir (Getty)
Malawi refused to host Bashir as it became a signatory to the Rome Statute in 1999, which obliges it to refrain from “acts which would defeat the object and purpose” of the ICC treaty.

This would entail arresting Bashir on the warrant issued against him in 2008 for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Darfur.

After countries, including Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Chad hosted Bashir, post-arrest warrant, the ICC’s chief prosecutor called for aid cuts for countries not complying with its warrants.

After Malawi blocked Bashir from taking part at the planned July 9-16 meeting; Khartoum asked the AU that its summit be moved to headquarters in Addis Ababa.

“Following the withdrawal of Malawi to host the 19th AU summit meetings and after consultations among member states, it has been decided that the 19th summit will be held at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on the same dates,” said AU a statement.

Bashir is the only sitting head of state indicted by the ICC; he denies the charges and describes them as politically motivated.

Chad, Kenya and Djibouti have been referred to the UN Security Council for refusing to the acting upon the arrest warrant.