Judgment reserved in Al Bashir case :Friday 14 August 2015. Sudanese President Omar al Bashir visited South Africa in June for the AU summit in Johannesburg. (REUTERS) Judgement has been reserved in government's application for leave to appeal the Pretoria High Court ruling which compelled it to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. Government has argued that it had no jurisdiction to arrest al-Bashir as he was not invited by South Africa but by the African Union (AU). Bashir visited South Africa in June for the AU Summit in Johannesburg when the Southern African Litigation Centre (SALC) approached the court for an order forcing Pretoria to surrender al-Bashir to the International Criminal Court (ICC). The North Gauteng High Court ruled that South Africa‚ as a signatory to the Rome Statute‚ was obliged to arrest the Sudanese president who is wanted for war crimes.
Meanwhile, a Russian based academic, Professor Alexander Mezyaev, says South Africa acted lawfully by not arresting al-Bashir when he was in the country. Bashir was invited by AU and not SA: Zuma:Thursday 6 August 2015. Mbeki holds peace talks with Al Bashir:Monday 3 August 2015. Mbeki discussed the resumption of peace talks between the government and the Sudan People's Liberation. (SABC) Former South African president and head of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel, Thabo Mbeki, has held talks with Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir in Khartoum. Mbeki discussed the resumption of peace talks between the government and the Sudan People's Liberation to end the ongoing conflict in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan states. This is Mbeki’s first visit to Sudan since the formation of the new government.
Last April, Mbeki suspended indefinitely a pre-dialogue process aiming to bring together the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and the political and armed opposition forces to discuss the preparation of the national dialogue which is to be held inside the country. The suspension followed the refusal of the Sudanese government to take part in the preparatory meeting two weeks before the general elections.
Government in court to clarify al-Bashir issue:Wednesday 24 June 2015. Government is expected to explain circumstances relating to Omar al-Bashir leaving the country last week. (REUTERS) Government is expected to present an affidavit to the High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday on why it let Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir leave the country against the interim court order prohibiting his departure. The court also ruled that al-Bashir should be detained under an International Criminal Court (ICC) indictment on war crime charges.
Government will have to explain why it allowed the Sudanese President to leave the country. Human rights group Southern African Litigation Centre brought the application to force his arrest. Last week, a State lawyer made the announcement of the Sudanese president's departure, moments after Judge Dunstan Mlambo ordered preparations for al-Bashir's arrest. Government earlier said it offered al-Bashir immunity because he was attending an African Union summit in Johannesburg. Click below for related articles: More information on the story: Alliance summit defends govts decision on Omar Al-Bashir:Thursday 2 July 2015. Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court to stand trial for war crimes. (SABC) The alliance summit of the ANC, SACP, Cosatu and SANCO has defended government's actions surrounding Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir's departure from South Africa.
Bashir who was in the country on the invitation of the African Union to attend a heads of states summit, left the country under mysterious circumstances. Government has since announced that it intends challenging that decision. Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court to stand trial for war crimes. As a signatory to the court's Rome Statute, Pretoria is obliged to arrest and hand him over to the court. However, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe says the decision not to arrest al-Bashir is a political consideration which needs to be understood not only as a judicial matter. SA govt denies secret meeting to protect al-Bashir:Monday 22 June 2015. Al-Bashir, wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court (ICC), left South Africa on June 15. (REUTERS) Government on Monday denied reports that the security cluster ministers held a secret meeting to protect and give safe passage to Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to leave South Africa.
“Government categorically denies that there was a secret meeting held by the security cluster Ministers including Minister in the Presidency and the Director-General of the Presidency, in Cape Town,” Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) said in a statement. “It alleges that this meeting was to plot the safe passage of President al-Bashir during African Union Summit in Johannesburg last week.” Al-Bashir, wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court (ICC), left South Africa on June 15, despite a court order barring him from leaving. As a member of the ICC, South Africa is obliged to arrest him and surrender him to the ICC. Al-Bashir details expected next week:Friday 19 June 2015.
Omar al-Bashir has dominated the headlines since his visit to South Africa. (SABC) Details of how Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir was allowed to leave the country despite a court order preventing him to do so are expected to emerge next week. The High Court in Pretoria gave government seven days to file affidavits to explain what happened. Al-Bashir dominated the headlines, virtually overshadowing the African Union summit he had come to attend. A smiling al-Bashir greeted his supporters in Khartoum as he landed. Al-Bashir's departure from South Africa was a violation of an interim order given on Saturday that he must stay put. The centre’s Caroline James says the South African government should have arrested him. Despite the SABC reporting that he left around midday on Monday, the state lawyers were arguing that while his plane had left, the name of Omar Hassan Al Bashir was not on the passenger list.
Al-Bashir: South Africa’s moment of glory and shame :Friday 19 June 2015. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir waves on arrival in Sudan after attending an African Union summit in Johannesburg. (REUTERS) David E Kiwuwa, Princeton University Sudan President Omar al-Bashir’s decision to leave South Africa speedily to avoid arrest on an International Criminal Court (ICC) indictment while attending the 25th African Union summit was a dramatic diplomatic development.
The warrant, issued in March 2009, was for various crimes against humanity including pillage, murder, extermination, torture, and rape against thousands of civilians in Darfur. It was never likely that al-Bashir would have been arrested. As usual, international gatherings of regional or world leaders such as the African Union summit come with some sort of diplomatic courtesies, including immunity from arrest. Significance of the court case But the very fact that proceedings were commenced is instructive. The Arab league rejected his indictment while the African Union initially asked for a year’s deferral. Sudanese govt held SA soldiers hostage to ensure Al-Bashir return:Tuesday 16 June 2015. Omar al-Bashir arrived in South Africa on Saturday to attend the African Union Summit. (SABC) The Presidency has declined to react to reports that the Sudanese army reportedly held hundreds of South African peacekeepers hostage to guarantee the safe return of President Omar al-Bashir.
The Sudanese army reportedly surrounded camps of South African peacekeepers in Darfur as the high court in Pretoria ordered the arrest of al-Bashir on charges of genocide. Only after Al-Bashir safely touched down in Khartoum last night, were Sudanese troops withdrawn. President Jacob Zuma is the commander-in-chief of the defence force. Military expert Helmoed-Römer Heitman says if the reports are true, South Africa will have no other option than to withdraw its troops from Darfur. News24 reports that camps of the South African peacekeeping force in Sudan were surrounded by heavily armed Sudanese army units after a South African court ordered the arrest of al-Bashir. Al-Bashir back home:Monday 15 June 2015. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has managed to escape a South African court attempt to have him arrested. (REUTERS) Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir arrived in Khartoum from Johannesburg on Monday.
Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in the Darfur region, was returning from an African Union summit after a court ordered him not to leave as it decided whether to arrest him over alleged war crimes. Dressed in his traditional white robes, a triumphant al-Bashir waved his trademark cane in the air as he stepped off the plane and shouted: "God is greatest!
". Walking down a red carpet leading from the aircraft, he was greeted by his ministers on the tarmac as well as a crowd of journalists and photographers. Nearby, an area had been prepared for a news conference. The United Nations says 300 000 people have died in the conflict, and another 2.5 million forced to flee their homes. DA slams government over al-Bashir saga:Monday 15 June 2015. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir attended the AU summit in Johannesburg. (REUTERS) The South African government has stooped to a "disgraceful" new low by allowing Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to leave the country and violating a court order in the process, the Democratic Alliance said on Monday. "The DA condemns the decision by the South African government to allow President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan to leave the country, despite a High Court order prohibiting his departure," International Relations and Co-operation spokesperson Stevens Mokgalapa said in a statement.
"The SA government has stooped to a disgraceful and cynical new low – and demonstrated to the world that it does not believe in justice for grave international crimes. " He said the party was in consultation with its lawyers as to what means it had at its disposal to ensure government not be allowed to sidestep accountability. "There must be consequences for such a serious disregard for the law," Mokgalapa said. AU summit clouded by Al-Bashir “arrest”:Sunday 14 June 2015. Bashir is prohibited from leaving South Africa until Judge Fabricius hands down his final ruling. (REUTERS) The opening ceremony of the African Union (AU) summit is finally underway, this after numerous postponements on Sunday. The gathering at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg was scheduled to start at 9am, then 11am, was delayed because of a Pretoria High Court order against Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir.
Earlier, Pretoria High Court Judge Hans Fabricius granted the Southern African Litigation Centre (SALC) a temporary order to prevent Al-Bashir from leaving the country. The court ordered that Bashir be prohibited to leave the country. Al-Bashir, who is in South Africa to attend the 25th African Union summit, has two outstanding warrants from the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity. The ICC has urged the South African government to “respect their obligations to co-operate with the Court.” Al-Bashir will only leave SA once AU business concluded:Sunday 14 June 2015. Civil society organisation, the SA Litigation Centre has applied to have Al- Bashir, who is sought by the International Criminal Court, arrested. (REUTERS) The Sudanese government says its president Omar Al-Bashir will only leave South Africa after concluding his business at the African Union Summit underway in Sandton. Civil society organisation, the SA Litigation Centre, has applied to have Bashir, who is sought by the International Criminal Court, arrested.
The High Court in Pretoria has postponed ruling on the application until Monday morning, and has ordered port of entry officials to prevent the Sudanese leader from leaving the country before then. Al-Bashir is wanted for war crimes in Sudan's Darfur region. Those alleged crimes took place in 2003. The ICC issued an arrest warrant in 2009 for him. Since then Al-Bashir's international travel has been severely restricted. He was speaking at the opening of the African Union heads of states summit in Sandton. UN weighs in on al-Bashir saga:Monday 15 June 2015. Omar al-Bashir is wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court. (REUTERS) The United Nations (UN) has weighed in on the controversy surrounding the legal challenge against government to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. In an interview with the SABC, UN Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson, says while Sudan remains a critical player in resolving the conflicts in South Sudan and Darfur, signatories to the Rome statute, that governs the International Criminal Court (ICC), are obligated to implement its decisions.
"From our perspective, ICC is an important institution, set up and supported by majority of member states and we support decisions by the ICC and its decisions are to be implemented. " The African Union (AU), on the other hand, says a bid to force South Africa to arrest al-Bashir is an indictment on the ICC and its collaborators. Al-Bashir is wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court.
US disappointed al-Bashir allowed to leave SA:Monday 15 June 2015. The US says South Africa should have taken action to prevent Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir from leaving the country. (SABC) The United States is disappointed South Africa did not take action to prevent Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who faces genocide charges, from leaving an African Union conference in Johannesburg on Monday, a State Department spokesperson said. State Department spokesperson Jeff Rathke, in a news briefing, declined to say South Africa should have arrested al-Bashir but said "clearly, some action should have been taken.
" The Pretoria High court earlier ruled the South African government's failure to detain al-Bashir was inconsistent with the constitution. It ordered the State to take reasonable steps to arrest al-Bashir without a warrant. Al-Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity. Al-Bashir was in South Africa to attend an African Union (AU) summit in Sandton. He has long rejected the court's authority. Al-Bashir must be arrested: Court:Monday 15 June 2015. Sudan President Omar al-Bashir is wanted by the ICC for crimes against humanity. (REUTERS) The High Court in Pretoria has ruled that the failure to detain Sudan President Omar al-Bashir is inconsistent with the Constitution, and he must be detained pending a formal request from the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Al-Bashir has however left South Africa. Sudan's information minister Yasser Youssef has confirmed that President Omar Al-Bashir has left South Africa and will arrive in Khartoum tonight. Journalists earlier spotted his plane taking off from Waterkloof air force base in Pretoria. The Southern African Litigation Centre, a rights group wanted to force South African President Jacob Zuma's government to arrest Bashir and hand him over to the ICC.
Al-Bashir was in South Africa to attend an African Union (AU) summit in Sandton. He has long rejected the court's authority. "The authority of the ICC must be respected and its decision implemented," Ban added. SAs hands were tied in al-Bashir arrest: Analyst :Monday 15 June 2015.