Free Press Journal

Court orders Sudan president to stay in SA until arrest ruling

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Omar al-Bashir

Johannesburg: A South African court today issued a temporary ban on Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir leaving the country after the International Criminal Court (ICC) called for his arrest at a summit of African leaders in Johannesburg. A court statement said it was “compelling respondents to prevent President Omar Al-Bashir from the leaving the country until an order is made in this court”.A hearing in Pretoria High Court is set to take place later today. The ruling came after the Southern African Litigation Centre, a legal rights’ group, launched an urgent court application to force the authorities to arrest Bashir. Bashir, who is wanted over alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity during the Darfur conflict, mostly travels to countries that have not joined the ICC, but South Africa is a signatory of the court’s statutes. A South African government official at the African Union summit confirmed media reports that Bashir was at the event, but he declined to give further details. The ICC said in a statement from its headquarters in The Hague that it “calls on South Africa… to spare no effort in ensuring the execution of the arrest warrants” against Bashir.