UK Disappointed Over Nigeria’s Refusal to Arrest Sudanese President, Al-Bashir
The United Kingdom has expressed disappointment over Nigeria’s refusal to arrest visiting Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir, who was in Nigeria to attend ongoing conference of the Special Summit of AU Heads of State and Government tagged “Abuja+12 Special Summit” in spite of the ICC arrest warrant.
The UK in a statement on Monday by its Foreign Office Minister for Africa on Monday, Mr Mark Simmonds said Nigeria’s action has undermined the work of the court.
Simmonds said: “The UK has a strong and abiding bilateral relationship with Nigeria.
“I am therefore disappointed that Nigeria has chosen to host President Al-Bashir of Sudan at an African Union event, despite International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrants against him for alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
“This undermines the work of the ICC and sends the victims a dismaying message that the accountability they are waiting for will be delayed further.”
The statement noted that the British government took seriously its obligations as a state party to the Rome Statute and consistently urged other state parties to do same.
Earlier on Monday, foreign affairs minister Olugbenga Ashiru had told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that Nigeria shunned the ICC arrest warrant because of its commitment to AU position on the issue.
Ashiru, who is currently in Brazil for a meeting, said: “Sudan’s president is in Nigeria at the invitation of AU for the HIV and AIDS Malaria Summit.
“Remember AU in 2009 passed a resolution not to cooperate with the ICC on the indictment of President Al-Bashir.
“However, he is not in Nigeria at our instance as Nigeria’s commitment to the AU remains firm.”
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