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Sudan's president, who's been indicted for genocide and war crimes, arrives in Nigeria. Rights groups express outrage
| July 15, 2013
Omar al-Bashir, president of Sudan, who's been indicted for genocide and war crimes committed in Darfur, arrived in Nigeria on Sunday, for an African Union summit on HIV/AIDS and was greeted with a red carpet welcome and a full guard of honor. Al-Bashir was indicted in 2009 by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague for genocide and war crimes committed during the Darfur conflict in Sudan. He was the first sitting African head of state indicted by the court. His visit has created a lot of controversy with rights groups expressing their outrage. In a statement, Human Rights Watch said "Nigeria has the shameful distinction of being the first West African country to welcome ICC fugitive Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir." Regarding Al-Bashir's visit to Nigeria, a spokesman for the presidency said "The Sudanese president came for an AU event and the AU has taken a position on the ICC arrest order, so Nigeria has not taken action different from the AU stand," Al-Bashir has rejected the ICC charges and the African Union (AU) has urged its member states to ignore the ICC saying they would hinder efforts to end Sudan's multiple conflicts. The AU has accused the ICC of only targeting war criminals from Africa and has failed to indict anyone from any other continent.

(2) Comment


"The views and opinions expressed in these comment(s) or article(s) do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of NGEX, its partners or its affiliates."
Matthew Russell Lee    NYC (UN), USA    July 15, 2013
While Human Rights Watch says Nigeria should arrest Omar al-Bashir on the ICC warrant for war crimes and genocide, it should be noted that earlier this month the head of UN Peacekeeping Herve Ladsous met with Bashir in Khartoum.

It doesn't seem that HRW commented about UN official Ladsous meeting with Bashir. HRW's Ken Roth refused to disclose even the topics of his meeting with Ban at the UN; his spokesman said secrecy is kept in order to maintain access.

These are questions that both HRW and Ladsous' Department of Peacekeeping Operations should answer. The Free UN Coalition for Access (FUNCA) has been asking a range of DPKO missions questions about their own human rights practices, not least the Haiti mission's denial of the legal claims for having introduced cholera to that country - without any convincing response. Did HRW criticize the UN's terse dismissal of the Haiti claims?

Ladsous' strategy, when questioned for example about this meeting with Bashir, has been to run to what he views as friendly media platforms, while refusing to answer critical questions, see And we'll see what happens in Nigeria - and at the UN.

Matthew Russell Lee, Inner City Press
and Free UN Coalition for Access
J. O. Obasi    Ewing, The United states of America.    July 15, 2013
The UN Officials met with the same Sudanese President and there was no hell raised. Now, he is in Nigeria on the AU agenda. Since Nigeria has not been instructed by AU to interdict the mission on UN requests, diplomatically, the human rights watchdogs should not bother the Nigerian Government. I am sure the Human rights officals never complained to AU about the visit of Bashir to Nigeria either.

Since the visit is not on the mission for the Sudanese government and people specifically, the Nigerian government has not erred in any way. The UN knows where to reach Bashir to answer for his human rights transgressions. People should think twice before criticising this Nigerian government.
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