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ICC urges Central African Republic to arrest al-Bashir

The International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] on Wednesday issued an order [text, in French, PDF; press release] requesting that the Central African Republic take steps to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir [case materials; JURIST news archive] and transfer him to the court if he should enter the country for its independence celebrations. As a party to the ICC's Rome Statute [materials], the country is obligated to execute al-Bashir's arrest warrant. However, reports now indicate that al-Bashir has canceled his trip to the Central African Republic [NYT report] as well as another scheduled trip to Libya for an African-European summit as a result of the order.

Other African countries that are state parties to the Rome Statute have come under fire for allowing al-Bashir to attend events in their countries without arrest. In August, Kenya welcomed al-Bashir to a celebration for the country's adoption of a new constitution [JURIST report]. The ICC reported Kenya [JURIST report] to the UN Security Council and the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute as a result of the country's failure to arrest al-Bashir. Former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan [official profile; JURIST news archive] urged Kenya to reaffirm its commitment to the ICC [JURIST report]. The ICC also reported Chad [decision, PDF] for failing to arrest al-Bashir when he visited the country in July. Earlier in July, the ICC charged al-Bashir [JURIST report] with three counts of genocide [warrant, PDF] in relation to the Darfur conflict [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. These charges were added to the seven counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity already filed against Bashir [JURIST report] in March 2009.

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