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ICC urges Nigeria to arrest Sudan president for war crimes

The International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website; JURIST backgrounder] on Monday urged [decision, PDF] Nigerian authorities to arrest and surrender Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide [warrant PDF] allegedly committed in the Darfur conflict[BBC backgrounder]. Al-Bashir is currently in Nigeria participating in the Special Summit of the African Union on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Nigeria is a state party to the Rome Statute [text] and therefore must adhere to court orders or its failure to comply may be referred to the Assembly of States Parties or the Security Council. The ICC has accused [press release] al-Bashir of murder, extermination, forcible transfer, torture, rape, pillaging, intentionally targeting non-hostile civilians and genocide against the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups.

The ICC has faced difficulties in enforcing its arrest warrant against al-Bashir, in part because of the lack of support by neighbor states. In June 2012 former ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo said that economic of other aid should be refused [JURIST report] to those countries that assist al-Bashir in evading the arrest warrant that was issued against him in 2010. The ICC reported Kenya [JURIST report] and Chad [decision, PDF] in August 2010 for failing to arrest al-Bashir when he visited those country. In July 2010 the ICC charged [JURIST report] al-Bashir with three counts of genocide. In 2010 the ICC reported [JURIST report] Sudan to the UN Security Council for its noncooperation in pursuit of alleged war criminals Ahmad Harun and Ali Kushayb, who were wanted for 51 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes.

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