Last Updated: Tue Nov 02, 2010 19:04 pm (KSA) 16:04 pm (GMT)

Arab League rejects ICC request to arrest Bashir

Bashir is wanted by the ICC for war crimes and crimes against humanity
Bashir is wanted by the ICC for war crimes and crimes against humanity

The Arab League rejected a request from the International Criminal Court to implement an arrest warrant against Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, clearing the way for the leader to attend an Arab Summit in Qatar later this month, Sudan official news agency SUNA reported on Tuesday.

Secretary General, Amr Moussa, did not specify when the court had made the request for Bashir to be apprehended during the summit, but stressed the Arab League was concerned about the implications of the warrant.

 The summit is an Arab meeting, it is not for Qatar or Sudan. Sudan will be invited, and it’s up to the Sudanese government weather to attend or not 
Qatari PM

"We in the presidency of the Arab League have a clear position on this request and we totally reject it,” Moussa was quoted by SUNA as saying.

The Sudan Tribune reported that Qatar said it would not execute the request as it was simply hosting the summit and had nothing to do with its government.

"The summit is an Arab meeting, it is not for Qatar or Sudan. Sudan will be invited, and it’s up to the Sudanese government weather to attend or not,” Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Hamad bin Jasim Al-Thani, was quoted by the paper as saying.

Qatar is not a signatory of the ICC’s Rome Statute and is not legally obliged to arrest Bashir.

Jordan, Djibouti and Comoros are the only Arab League states that recognize The Hague-based court and it was unclear whether they had endorsed Moussa's statement.

According to the ICC mandate, member states must arrest those indicted if they enter their territory, restricting Bashir's movements to "friendly" countries.

Sudan said it would make special security arrangements for Bashir to travel to Doha, including fighter jets guarding the presidential plane.

Earlier this month ICC prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, issued an arrest warrant for Bashir on seven counts of war crimes in Darfur and crimes against humanity, which include murder, rape and torture.

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