News / Africa

Rights Groups Call for Sudanese President’s Arrest in Nigeria

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir walks out of a hotel in Abuja, Nigeria, July 14, 2013.
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir walks out of a hotel in Abuja, Nigeria, July 14, 2013.
Heather Murdock
Rights groups are calling for the arrest of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir as he makes his first visit to Nigeria since he was indicted by the International Criminal Court in 2009. 

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir arrived at the African Union HIV/AIDS conference along with leaders from across the continent, including Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

Human Rights Watch and the Nigerian Coalition on the International Criminal Court are calling for his arrest in accordance with a 2009 ICC indictment.  The Hague-based international court charged President Bashir with war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Sudan's Darfur region, where hundreds of thousands were killed and millions displaced.

The Nigerian rights coalition chair, Chino Edmund Obiagwa, said all countries that are members of the international court were bound by law to arrest anyone who has been indicted, including heads of state.

“All state parties to the ICC have a responsibility to execute it, whether he is a sitting president or not,” said Obiagwa.

Sudan's president has traveled to other African countries, including Kenya, Djibouti and Chad without incident, but Obiagwa said Nigeria should be more likely to make an arrest because of the large role it played in peacekeeping in Africa, with troops in several countries, including Sudan.

Other countries, like South Africa and Botswana have threatened to arrest Bashir if he visits.

“Nigeria has not demonstrated any precedent of non-cooperation with the ICC.  On the contrary, given the role Nigeria plays in international peace and security and given the threats in the region in terms of security it is important that Nigeria supports international justice mechanisms, especially the ICC, rather than undermining it,” said Obiagwa.

However, Nigerian officials said they would not be arresting Bashir because he was invited to Nigeria by the African Union.  The AU has previously urged African countries to withdraw from the ICC, saying the court is racially biased and targets African leaders.  Bashir was the first sitting head of state to be indicted by the court, followed by the heads of Libya and Kenya.

“If they’ve invited heads of state, Nigeria will not stop anybody.  If AU decides to take on, or to host, or to invite any head of state, Nigeria will not have any hand in it.  So I want to believe that since this is an AU summit and the AU has invited him, since he’s here, it’s the responsibility of the AU,” said Nigerian Minister of State for Africa Viola Onwuliri.

When President Bashir was originally indicted he denied the charges, saying they were "not worth the ink they are written in."

The Nigerian Coalition on the International Criminal Court petitioned the courts in Abuja to order an arrest.  However, Obiagwa says even if the court was so inclined, there’s not much chance Mr. Bashir will be in Nigeria long enough for it to take action.

(Ubale Musa contributed to this report from Abuja.)

You May Like

Photogallery Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: JOHN from: MAKURDI
July 15, 2013 2:04 PM
Alot of atrocities are happening in Najja under the NGOs/ Coalation nose. the presidency is always death about there simple contribution. And they have the got to call for somebodies arrest when you cat even arrest your dubious once among yourselves

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More