US, EU condemn Nigeria’s inability to hand over President Al-Bashir

The United States government and the European Union, yesterday, condemned the Federal Government’s refusal to hand over the Sudanese President, Omar Al Bashir, to the International Criminal Court for prosecution over alleged crimes against humanity. The Sudanese leader was in Abuja last weekend, to attend the just concluded African Union conference on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. In a statement by the Information Officer, Rhonda Ferguson-Augustus, the U.S. government said: “We regret Nigeria’s decision to welcome a visit by Sudanese President, Omar al-Bashir. President Hassan al-Bashir and other Sudanese individuals are subject to ICC arrest warrants for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Darfur. It is a serious cause for concern that these individuals remain at large and continue to travel across international borders.”

Reacting to the visit also, the EU said Nigeria ought to have refused the Sudanese President entry into the country in accordance with the ICC’s arrest warrant place on him. The EU, in a statement by High Representative, Catherine Ashton, said: “The High Representative is concerned by the visit of President of Sudan, Al-Bashir, to Nigeria , a state party to the Rome Statute of the ICC.” The EU noted that President Al-Bashir was under an arrest warrant by the ICC for war crimes and crimes against humanity. It reiterated the importance for all member states of the United Nations to abide by and implement the resolutions adopted by the Security Council under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, in this case UNSCR 1593(2005).

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