ICC reports Jordan to UN Security Council for failure to arrest Sudan’s Bashir

President Omar al-Bashir is wanted by the ICC for war crimes

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has said it will refer Jordan to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for its failure to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir when he attended an Arab League summit there in March.

The Hague-based court in a statement accused Jordan of failing to comply with its obligations under the Rome Statute, which it has been a part of since 2002.

“The Chamber (Pre-Trial Chamber II) decided to refer the matter of Jordan’s non-compliance to the Assembly of States Parties of the Rome Statute and the United Nations Security Council,” the statement read.

The ICC issued an arrest warrant for al-Bashir in 2009.

The 73-year-old is wanted for five counts of crimes against humanity (murder, extermination, forcible transfer, torture and rape), two counts of war crimes (intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population as such or against individual civilians not taking part in hostilities, and pillaging), and three counts of genocide allegedly committed against the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups in Darfur, Sudan, from 2003 to 2008.

The Sudanese president has however denied the allegations, and accuses the court of being political.

Sudan is not a member of the Hague-based permanent international war crimes court, and the ICC therefore does not have automatic jurisdiction to investigate alleged war crimes there.

In 2015, South Africa found itself in problems when it failed to arrest al-Bashir who was attending an African Union Summit in Johannesburg.

South Africa’s government argued that doing so would have been a violation of the immunity Bashir enjoys as a head of state. That argument was however rejected by South African courts as well as the ICC.

The ICC did not refer South Africa to the Security Council, saying it was not clear that doing so would have any effect.