South Africa President Jacob Zuma.
South Africa President, Jacob Zuma has warned that his country may consider quitting the International Crimes Court (ICC) after conflicting priorities complicated the arrest of Sudanese President Al-Bashir.
The warning is coming more than a week after the country failed to arrest Al-Bashir, who was charged by the ICC in 2009 and 2010 for war crimes related to the genocide in Sudan’s western Darfur region.
Al-Bashir was in South Africa for the 25th Annual African Union Summit June 7-15 and the government’s obligation to the African Union, to respect Al-Bashir’s diplomatic immunity during the summit, conflicted with its obligation to the ICC of seeking Al-Bashir’s arrest in tandem with the Rome Statute.
This delayed deliberation over whether the country should arrest him. In the interim, the government ordered Al-Bashir to remain in South Africa.
This order, however, fell on deaf ears as Al-Bashir returned home to Sudan’s capital, Khartoum. After weighing its priorities, the South African government finally produced an arrest order for Al-Bashir just hours after he left the country for Sudan.
The South African government had recently said without mincing words that it would review its membership of the Court and also determine in no distant time whether it still wishes to continue to be part of it.