Human Rights Groups Call On Chad To Arrest Sudan's President Bashir

by
staphni
International Human Rights organizations are urging Chad to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir during his visit to the country this week. Two warrants have been issued for Mr. Bashir's arrest by the International Criminal Court in The Hague. The Sudanese president is accused of committing crimes against humanity and genocide in his role as commander-in-chief during the guerilla war in Darfur, which began in 2003. Sudan estimates that 10,000 people have been killed in the conflict, but the United Nations estimates that over 300,000 have been killed and 2.7 million displaced since 2003. Mr. Bashir has denied the charges presented, but has limited his international travel since the issue of the warrants, visiting only states which have not signed the Rome Statute, which governs the court. Chad is the first signatory of the statute to be visited by the president since 2009. Mr. Bashir is in the capital, N'djamena, for a meeting of the Community of Sahel-Saharan States. News of the trip has prompted an outcry from human rights organizations. The International Federation for Human Rights demanded Thursday that Chadian authorities immediately arrest the Sudanese president. The group's permanent representative to the International Criminal Court, Mariana Pena, said that Chad was legally required to present Mr. Bashir to The Hague for trial. "States Party to the International Criminal Court, including Chad, are under the obligation to execute arrest warrants," said Pena. "This is why the International Federation for Human Rights is calling upon the Chadian government to immediately arrest President Bashir and surrender him to the International Criminal Court. Chad is under the legal obligation to do so. If it doesn't execute the arrest warrant, it will be violating its international obligations, and, in a way, it will be associating itself with the horrendous acts committed by the Sudanese regime."