NPWJ urges Chad to arrest President Bashir; ICC and States Parties should press Chad to comply with legal obligations

8 Aug, 2011 | Press Releases

President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan arrived yesterday in the Republic of Chad to attend the swearing-in ceremony of re-elected head of state Idriss Deby Itno. 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. Chad 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 Government of Chad to fulfil its obligations as a State Party of the ICC and arrest President al-Bashir while he remains on Chadian territory. This is the second time President al-Bashir has visited Chad while he is subject to an ICC arrest warrant: Chad should stop willingly harbouring fugitives from the Court and instead comply fully with its obligations under the Rome Statute.

“We also call on the ICC itself and all of its States Parties to speak out strongly against Chad’s ongoing embrace of President al-Bashir and to use all possible channels to press the Chadian Government to execute the arrest warrant before he leaves the country.

“The Court and States Parties should also send a clear message to the Government of Chad that its failure to comply with its obligations would have consequences. The judges of the Court could make a finding that Chad’s non-cooperation has prevented the ICC from exercising its functions and could refer the matter to the Assembly of States Parties or the United Nations Security Council as a result. We call on the Court and States Parties to be prepared to take these steps, if necessary.

“Hundreds of thousands of victims of violence in Darfur now live as refugees in Chad and the ICC has found that there is reasonable basis to believe that President al-Bashir may have been responsible for some of the crimes they suffered. Now is not the time to consolidate President al-Bashir’s hold on power, particularly as President Deby begins a new term in office. President Deby should begin his new term by standing up for human rights and demonstrating that impunity will not be tolerated. Today, Chad can strike a decisive blow for peace in the region by removing from the equation one of the actors who has been most responsible for the decades of instability it has endured.”

For further information, contact Alison Smith on or +32-2-548-3912 or Nicola Giovannini or +32-2-548-3915.