Kenya Court Issues Arrest Warrant for Sudan’s Bashir

Posted November 28th, 2011 at 9:15 am (UTC-5)
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Kenya's High Court has issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted for alleged war crimes and genocide in Sudan's Darfur region.

Human rights groups had criticized Kenya for failing to arrest Mr. Bashir when he attended a ceremony in Nairobi for Kenya's new constitution in August 2010.

High Court Justice Nicola Ombija said in his order Monday that the government must arrest Mr. Bashir “should he ever set foot in Kenya.”

The order calls for President Bashir to be handed over to the International Criminal Court, which has an international warrant out for the Sudanese leader.

Sudan does not recognize the ICC's authority, and Mr. Bashir has flouted the arrest warrants by repeatedly traveling abroad, though mostly to countries that are not ICC members.

The ICC has argued that Kenya is obligated as a member state to arrest the Sudanese president. Officials at the Hague-based court have said that if Kenya fails to comply with the ICC warrant, the court may report Kenya to the U.N. Security Council.

Sudan's government has been fighting rebels in Darfur since 2003. The ICC says Mr. Bashir orchestrated a campaign of murder, rape, and other crimes against civilians in the region.

The U.N. says fighting and related violence in Darfur have killed an estimated 300,000 people and displaced some 2.7 million others.