Home | News    Tuesday 1 June 2010

Sudan says South Africa’s president misquoted on arresting Bashir


May 31, 2010 (KHARTOUM) — The South African President Jacob Zuma was misrepresented by media when he was quoted saying that president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir would be arrested if he was to attend the FIFA World Cup Finals, hosted by Johannesburg, taking place next month on its territory, Sudanese foreign ministry said on Monday.

Last Friday Zuma speaking to lawmakers said that his country will honor its obligations under international law which effectively means that Bashir will be arrested since he is subject to an arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes allegedly committed in Darfur.

"South Africa respects the international law and certainly we are signatories [to ICC Statute] and we abide by the law," Zuma.

Pressed again whether Bashir would or would not be arrested if he entered South Africa, in view of the fact all African heads of state had been invited to the major soccer event Zuma reiterated his position.

"In my response, that’s the first thing I answered. I answered very clearly that South Africa respects the international law. And that answers the question,"

But Sudanese foreign ministry spokesperson Muawiya Osman Khalid said that Zuma’s stance was consistent with the African one which calls for a moratorium on ICC proceedings, as it would leads to a continued deterioration of the situation.

Khalid said that media distorted Zuma’s remarks to serve an agenda. He further added that is position is a wise one and avoid making preference of justice over peace or vice versa else it would quash both objectives.

South Africa has made it clear several times since Bashir’s indictment in March 2009 that he is vulnerable to apprehension. This was despite the African Union (AU) decision in July of last year to halt cooperation with the ICC in executing the warrant.

However, South Africa issued a formal statement afterwards saying it cannot abide by that resolution.

South African president said that the position of the AU is not to scrap the warrant but to defer it for 12 months with a UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution to give time to fix the crises in the East African nation.

“We reconcile our participation in the process while the leader of that country [Sudan] has the warrant of arrest, on the basis of the African Union decision," Zuma said.

"The AU took a very deliberate decision and requested the international court to postpone the action against Bashir, given the fact that we’re dealing with a situation of violence, that if it acted immediately, it could reverse the situation in Sudan,” he added.

"That was done collectively by the African leaders and the message was sent. It was correct to do so, because our view was that if you did that, that situation could have got worse. That’s what the AU has said. The AU has not said we must not arrest Bashir”.

"It looked at the situation and felt it was necessary to move cautiously on this matter. That’s what we’ve done. And that’s why we’re reconciling the two points," he said.


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  • 1 June 2010 07:04, by Dinka Boy

    Journalists in Africa particularly need adequate trainig so that they can acquire the validity of conduct of ethics. Almost all the journalists put wrong words in wrong direction because they did not know the ethical conduct.
    I want to advise those people who like to propagate wrong messege to the public that it’s acrime;therefore, you should refrained from it. This has been the routine in every report here especially in Sudan.

  • 1 June 2010 07:07, by Kur

    If Zuma was misquoted in the media, let’s see if Bashir will try to go to South Africa.


    • 1 June 2010 08:41, by Jetson

      he will nevergo there, he knows very well he will be arrested

  • 1 June 2010 11:55, by Akau Malek

    Beshire is coward and clever. He won’t go to the worldcup though. World cup belongs to happy people not for sadistst like Beshire. He fears leaving his statehouse because he fears being toppled leave alone icc indictment.

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