NPWJ: “Kenya must arrest President Omar al-Bashir”

Brussels-Rome-New York, 27 August 2010

President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan arrived in Kenya this morning to attend the promulgation of the country's new constitution. President al-Bashir is the subject of an arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed against the civilian population in Darfur. Kenya is a State Party to the ICC and as such, is obliged by the ICC’s founding treaty to arrest any person for whom the Court has issued a warrant.
Statement by Alison Smith, Legal Counsel of No Peace Without Justice:
“No Peace Without Justice and the Transnational Nonviolent Radical Party call upon the Kenyan authorities to arrest President Omar Al-Bashir and hand him over to the International Criminal Court. As a State Party to ICC, which has implemented its Statute in its domestic law, Kenya is under a legal obligation to arrest President Al-Bashir or lose any legitimacy as a law-abiding country.
“It seems remarkably ill-advised for Kenyan leaders to be flirting with President Al-Bashir’s anti-ICC campaign right now, given that many of them are currently under investigation themselves by the Court in The Hague. The flaunting of the arrest warrant by Kenyan leaders may be the last straw that removes all political obstacles to their own indictment for crimes against humanity committed during the post election violence in late 2007 and early 2008.
“While it is certainly in the interest of President Al-Bashir to expand the range of countries where he is seen to travel with impunity, it is not in Kenya's interest, nor in the interest of its leaders. Should Kenyan leadership decide to throw their lot in with President Al-Bashir and other international fugitives, they will reap what they sow: if they are indicted by the ICC, like him they will enjoy no respite and will be hounded until they will be eventually caught and prosecuted. Arresting President Al-Bashir while he is in Kenya is in their own interest, and it is the law.
“We call on all ICC States Parties to speak out strongly against Kenya’s embrace of President Al-Bashir and to use all possible channels to press the Kenya Government to execute the arrest warrant before he leaves the country”.
For further information, contact Alison Smith on or +32-2-548 39 12 or Nicola Giovannini on or +32-2-548-39 15.