HRW: Malawi Should Arrest Sudan’s Bashir

Posted October 13th, 2011 at 8:45 am (UTC-5)
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Human Rights Watch has called on Malawi to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir when he visits for a regional trade summit.

The U.S.-based group said Mr. Bashir is expected to travel to Malawi for a meeting of the 19-member Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa , which begins on Friday.

Mr. Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Sudan's western Darfur region. His government has been fighting rebels there since 2003.

In an interview with VOA Thursday, Human Rights Watch senior counsel Elise Keppler said President Bashir is an international fugitive and that as a member of the ICC, “Malawi should arrest him, not host him.”

Five other African heads of state are expected to attend the two-day summit — including Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, Eritrea's President Isaias Afewerki, Swaziland's King Mswati, Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza and Malawi's President Bingu wa Mutharika.