Ethiopia defends South Africa over attempts to arrest Bashir

Hailemariam Desalegn
Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn


Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn on Thursday defended the rejection of the South African government to arrest and hand over Sudanese president, Omer Hassan al-Bashir, to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

According to the Sudan Tribune Mr Desalegn said the attempt to arrest the Sudanese president was instigated by non-governmental organizations and not the South African government.

The South African government came under pressure earlier in the week from rights groups, ICC and international community to deliver Bashir to the war crimes court in response to two arrest warrants issued against him since 2009 and 2010.

Mr Desalegn expressed his views on the whole Bashir situation in a meeting with a visiting Sudanese media delegation.

Desalagne added that the South African government wasn’t cooperating with the ICC to arrest the Sudanese President as some reports speculated.

Bashir was in South Africa to attend the 25th Ordinary Summit of the African Union.


However, shortly after his arrival in South Africa on Sunday, a South African court ordered the Sudanese president not to leave the country until decision is made on whether he should be sent to ICC to stand trial over alleged war crimes.

However the Sudanese president flew home on Monday after the South African government reportedly let him leave the country despite the court’s decision.

Bashir who was recently re-elected for a new term was in Johannesburg to attend the 25th Ordinary Summit of the African Union.

Meanwhile former South Sudanese vice President Riek Machar has said that South Africa made the correct decision not to arrest Bashir.

Speaking to the Eye Witness, the former vice president says he agrees with African Union delegates that suggest the Sudanese president had immunity from arrest during the AU summit.

Machar said the the consequences of such an arrest would be much harder to manage than al-Bashir’s departure from the country.

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