President al-Bashir defies ICC arrest warrant by visiting Uganda


Al-Bashir's visit comes in response to an invitation by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, the official SUNA news agency reported.

During his stay in Uganda, President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir will hold bilateral discussions with his host President Yoweri Museveni on a number of issues of mutual importance between the two countries as well as regional matters.

President Al-Bashir will be accompanied by Ministers, Senior Officials and a business delegation in various sectors who will be seeking opportunities to carry out trade, investments and business partnerships.

Hurinet coordinator Muhammad Ndifuna told journalists on Monday thus: "As a party to the Rome Statute, Uganda has an unequivocal obligation to cooperate with ICC in relation to enforcement of warrants of arrest issued against Omar Bashir, Inviting an global criminal suspect to Uganda not only undermines the fight against impunity which Uganda has for long championed but also betrays the concerns and interests of the victim of the most heinous crimes". Patrick Mugoya, during which the two sides agreed on steps to implement the decisions taken by the 5th session of the Joint Ministerial Commission which was held in Khartoum.

Rights groups on Monday urged Ugandan government to arrest the visiting president of Sudan, who has always been wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes.

His last visit to Uganda was in May past year to attend President Museveni's fifth swearing-in ceremony.

But Uganda's government says the Sudanese leader is immune from arrest as a head of state.

The ICC issued arrest warrants for al-Bashir in 2009 and 2010 on charges of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity in the Sudanese region of Darfur.

"They undertook to intensify efforts, bilaterally and within the Intergovernmental Authority on Development and African Union frameworks towards finding a lasting political solution through an all-inclusive National Dialogue", the communique said.