A diplomatic vs courts row has erupted in South Africa as heads of states have gathered for an African Union Summit. The high court has ruled that Omar al-Bashir be detained in S. Africa to be handed over to the International Criminal Court(ICC) to face charges of war crimes connected with a rebellion in Darfur. The government officials of S. Africa wish to extend amnesty to any sitting heads of state.
Some action is expected by Monday.
Opinion has turned against the ICC in much of Africa. The court has been accused of being racist. The Kenyan head of state was recently tried in the ICC court. The charges were dropped because witnesses did not come forward and Pres. Uhuru Kenyatta refused to release documents pertaining to his case.
There is speculation that Pres. al-Bashir has already left S. Africa. The ICC has no force to impose arrests but relies on local constabulary to enforce its warrants. Al-Bashir has evaded arrest twice before. There have been conflicting reports as to his whereabouts.
The arrest warrant concerns actions of the military in Darfur. The conflict continues in that area despite the presence of UN peacekeepers in the area. It is estimated that half a million people have been displaced in the last 16 months. The conflict in the Darfur region has been long standing. The UN mission was established in 2007 in spite of the hostility of the Sudanese government. The violence against the civilians in that area has increased, especially since early 2014.
In February 2015, Human Rights Watch documented the mass rape of up to 221 women and girls by Sudanese forces during a 36-hour period in late October and early November 2014 in the town of Tabit, North Darfur. The government has denied UNAMID access to Tabit to carry out a credible investigation. Human Rights Watch