Central African Republic urged to cooperate in arrest of al-Bashir 02 Dec 2010
Pre-Trial Chamber I at the ICC has formally requested the cooperation of the CAR in the arrest of Sudanese President, Omar al-Bashir.

Following reports that Sudanese President, Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir was preparing to visit the Central African Republic (CAR), Pre-Trial Chamber I at the International Criminal Court (ICC) has requested formal cooperation from the CAR authorities in the arrest of al-Bashir. Reminding the CAR of its ‘General obligation to cooperate’ under Article 86 of the Rome Statute the Chamber delivered its urgent request.

On 4 March 2009, the Pre-Trial Chamber issued a warrant for the arrest of the President after finding grounds to believe that the suspect is criminally responsible as an indirect co-perpetrator under Article 25 (3) (a) of the Rome Statute for five counts of crimes against humanity and two counts of war crimes committed in Darfur, Sudan. A second warrant of arrest was issued against al-Bashir in July 2010, for three counts of genocide.

According to the request issued on 1 December 2010, the Chamber requested the CAR to “take all necessary measures” to arrest al-Bashir and effect his transfer to the custody of the Court, in the event that he arrives on the territory of the CAR. The Chamber noted that as a State Party to the Rome Statute the CAR is under an obligation to execute warrants of arrest issued by the Court. In a similar move to that made with regard to the Republic of Kenya at the end of October, the Court further requested the CAR to inform the Court of any problem that would impede the arrest of al-Bashir.

Surrender to the Court

Over recent months Pre-Trial Chamber I has issued various decisions concerning the arrest and surrender to the Court of al-Bashir. On 27 August 2010, the Chamber issued two decisions informing the UN Security Council and Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute about al-Bashir’s visits to the Republic of Kenya and the Republic of Chad which did not result in his arrest. Further, as mentioned, on 25 October 2010, the Chamber requested observations from Kenya concerning circumstances that would prevent the arrest of al-Bashir should he have attended a regional African conference in Kenya. At the eleventh hour the conference was moved to Ethiopia, a non-State Party to the Rome Statute with no obligations to execute the warrant of arrest.

Following the request by the Pre-Trial Chamber on 1 December, reports suggested that al-Bashir had cancelled his plans to travel to the CAR.

Press Release

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