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Uganda cannot arrest Bashir - Kampala court

By Farooq Kasule, Barbra Kabahumuza

Added 16th November 2017 08:09 AM

Last year, ICC referred Uganda to the UN Security Council over failure to arrest Bashir during his visit to the country.

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Last year, ICC referred Uganda to the UN Security Council over failure to arrest Bashir during his visit to the country.

President Yoweri Museveni drives Bashir around his Kisozi ranch in Gomba district.

The International Crimes Division of the High Court in Kampala has dismissed an application by a local activist group to arrest visiting Sudanese President Field Marshall Omar El-Bashir

On Wednesday, Justice Moses Mukiibi also the head of the ICD court declined to order for the arrest of Bashir on grounds that it was unnecessary.

“Uganda is awaiting sanctions by the UN security council for failing to arrest President Bashir in May last year. Therefore, it is unnecessary to issue an immediate arrest warrant against president Bashir,” Mukiibi ruled. 

Bashir was in Uganda for a two-day officail visit on the invitation of his Ugandan counterpart President Yoweri Museveni. He left on Wednesday.

Last year, ICC referred Uganda to the UN Security Council over failure to arrest Bashir during his visit to the country.

Bashir had come to Uganda to attend the swearing-in ceremony of President Yoweri Museveni.

 



Uganda and a number of African states including South Africa have declined to arrest Bashir.  They argue that the court is only targeting countries in Africa.

Bashir was indicted by the ICC in 2009 but has since denied the charges.

 Bashir is wanted by ICC on suspicion of masterminding atrocities including genocide in the breakaway Darfur region of western Sudan between 2003 and 2008. Thousands of people purportedly lost lives.

Uganda victims Foundation through its lawyer Nicholas Opio wanted the court to issue a standing warrant of arrest against Bashir.

The order would be lingering on president Bashir's in case he steps in the country again.

According to Opio, Uganda as a member of the war crimes court is obliged to carry out ICC arrest warrants.

The case was against the Attorney General and Justice minister Kahinda Otafiire.

They also wanted court to declare that the justice minister and the government acted against  the Uganda 's  will and obligations of the international treaties by failing to arrest  Bashir for two times.

However, hearing of the main application did not proceed on Wednesday because the Attorney General William Byaruhanga had not yet filed his response.

Hearing of the main suit was adjourned to December 12.

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