International criminal Court (ICC) has asked the Saudi Arabian government to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is visiting the kingdom for the hajj.
In a press release, the court on Sunday urged the Saudi authorities to arrest Mr Bashir and surrender him as he was indicted by the court for war crimes and genocide committed in the troubled Darfur region since 2009.
The ICC statement further reminded the Saudi authorities to be committed to its obligations as a member of the UN Security Council, though the kingdom is not part of the Rome Statute.
“On October 1, 2014, the Chamber received a notification in which the Prosecutor avers, on the basis of news reports, that Mr Bashir ‘arrived in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, September 30, to perform the annual hajj (pilgrimage),” the ICC explained.
“Accordingly, the Prosecutor requests the Chamber to take steps to ensure that the warrants of arrest issued by the Court against Mr Bashir are executed” it further said.
In the statement, the ICC reminded the Saudi authorities of Security Council Resolution 1593 (2005), which urges all states to cooperate fully with the court.
“Given that the Statute is an international treaty governed by the rules set out under the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, it is only with the State’s consent that the Statute can impose obligations on a non-State Party,” the statement stressed.
But the statement also noted that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as a non-State Party to the Statute, had no obligations arising from the Statute in respect to the ICC.
NO ENFORCEMENT MECHANISM
However, the statement pointed out that the Court has no enforcement mechanism and thus relies on the cooperation by individual states, without which it cannot fulfil its mandate and contribute to ending impunity.
Sudanese officials refused to comment on the ICC statement, adding that Sudan has nothing to do with the court.
The Sudan government has refused to deal with the court as the country has not ratified the Rome statute.
President Bashir has been in Saudi Arabia for the hajj pilgrimage since September 30, 2014 and is accompanied by other Sudanese government officials.
Earlier in 2014, the Saudi government halted trade with Sudan as the Sudanese-Iranian ties had become a sensitive matter because of the historical animosity between Riyadh and Tehran.
In 2013, serious concerns were raised by the US — a close ally of Saudi Arabia — when Sudan allowed Iranian warships to dock in Port Sudan.
In August 2013, Saudi Arabia barred Mr al-Bashir from overflying its airspace on his way to the Iranian capital, Tehran.
The move ignited a huge diplomatic row between the two countries.
In 2009, the ICC issued two warrants of arrest against President Bashir for allegedly committing war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in the Darfur region.
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