Rwanda and Sudan have struck a deal to jointly confront the International Criminal Court (ICC), accusing the court of targeting only African leaders.
Rwandan President Paul Kagame and his counterpart Sudanese President Omar el Bashir made the agreement as they held talks in Khartoum Wednesday.
President Kagame who arrived in the Sudanese capital for a two-day visit stressed that the African Union’s position was against the ICC, stating that the continent’s leaders were victims of its biased justice.
“We have also talked about the International Criminal Court and I can say our opposition has been very clear,” President Kagame emphasised.
In his part, President Bashir commended Rwanda’s position which seeks to protect Sudan and other African nations from what he called the “international agenda” adding that there should be better coordination between the African governments to implement the AU stance on the ICC.
The ICC issued two arrest warrants against al-Bashir in 2009 and 2010 for alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed in Darfur.
Rwanda is not a state party to the ICC but has the obligation as a member of the United Nations to cooperate with the court. However, Kigali is critical to ICC and to its focus on Africa.
The Sudanese president also hailed Rwanda’s efforts to achieve peace and stability in the continent through its effective participation in the peacekeeping missions.
“We especially praise the active participation of the Rwandan forces within the UNAMID in Darfur which contributed to enhancing state efforts to achieve security and stability across Darfur and ensure the success of the disarmament campaign,” he said.
Rwanda was the first country to deploy peacekeepers in Sudan’s western region of Darfur and Kagame arrived in Khartoum on the same day Rwandan troops arrived in Darfur 13 years ago.
Kagame and Bashir also agreed to push for reforms at AU for better coordination at all levels. They also discussed several regional concerns, including the crisis in South Sudan.
The two presidents agreed to initiate a political consultation committee between their countries and to enhance bilateral trade.
The Rwandan leader was also scheduled to visit the Sudanese Museum and other archaeological areas in the north, as well as address a symposium at the Africa International University (AIU) in Khartoum.