AL-BASHIR WILL LEAVE MZANSI WHEN HE’S READY TO – Not Worried about ICC. Sudan’s foreign minister has said the country’s President Omar al-Bashir will leave South Africa when he’s ready to and is not bound by a High Court decision obliging him to stay.
Al-Bashir has been in this country attending the African Union (AU) Summit in Sandton but his visit has landed South Africa in a difficult diplomatic situation.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued a warrant of arrest for him for crimes against humanity.
Ibrahim Ghandour said al-Bashir will leave on time as scheduled.
Al-Bashir’s plane has been moved from OR Tambo International Airport to the Waterkloof Air Force Base in preparation.
On Sunday night, Khartoum Information Minister Ahmed Bilal Osman jumped the gun by saying al-Bashir had already left.
South African sources have said any storm raised by the Sudanese president defying a Pretoria court order pales by comparison with the ramifications of having to arrest him.
On Sunday, the Southern African Litigation Centre (SALC) secured an interim order to try and stop him from leaving with the ultimate aim of forcing him to stand trial.
As the controversy deepens, a professor from the University of Johannesburg has said South Africa has no one to blame but itself for the situation it finds itself in.
Chris Landsberg , a director at the university’s Centre for Policy Studies, said there is no ambiguity about what needs to be done given that South Africa has signed up to the Rome Statute.
The diplomatic difficulty for South Africa is being caught between trying to maintain its international standing and reputation and pressure from other African countries that accuse the ICC of selective prosecution and outright racism.