Human rights activists were ecstatic earlier today as a South African judge barred Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who was in South Africa for an African Union summit, from leaving the country due to an outstanding warrant for his arrest from the International Criminal Court:
Although the latest report from Bloomberg is that Bashir has left South African and is on his way back to Sudan:
European Union spokesperson Catherine Ray tweeted out this release after the judge’s ruling stating that the EU “expects South Africa, a founding State Party of the Court, to act in accordance with UN Security Council 1593, in executing the arrest warrant against any ICC indictee present in the country”:
Committed to preventing crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide, and to avoiding impunity for the perpetrators of such crimes, the EU confirms its continuing support for the ICC and its work.
Full cooperation with the ICC is a prerequisite for the Court’s effective functioning.
In accordance with established approach of the EU and its Member States, the EU expects South Africa, a founding State Party of the Court, to act in accordance with UN Security Council 1593, in executing the arrest warrant against any ICC indictee present in the country.
Which brings up this next question: If it is indeed true that South Africa let him go, what good is the ICC? Human rights activists aren’t pleased, to say the least:
We’ll update this as soon as we know more as to his exact whereabouts.
Update June 15. New reports this morning that Bashir has left South Africa: