Kenya Says Sudan Ties Normal After Bashir Arrest Ruling

Posted December 2nd, 2011 at 11:00 am (UTC-5)
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Kenya's foreign minister says relations with Sudan are back to normal, four days after a Kenyan court ordered the arrest of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

Minister Moses Wetangula said Friday that a high-level delegation that met with Sudanese leaders in Khartoum was able to resolve the dispute.

Sudan had responded to Monday's high court ruling by expelling Kenya's ambassador to Sudan and withdrawing Khartoum's envoy in Nairobi.

Wetangula says Sudan has agreed to allow the ambassadors to remain in place and to abandon planned “reprisals” that would have hurt Kenya's economy.

The Kenyan government had expressed “deep concern” about the high court ruling, calling it an “affront” to the principle that heads of state have immunity from criminal prosecution.

Mr. Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Sudan's Darfur region.

The ICC has argued that as a member of the court, Kenya is obligated to arrest Mr. Bashir. But the Kenyan government has instead followed the decision of the African Union, which has urged its members not to enforce the ICC arrest warrant, saying the court has unfairly focused on African nations.

Earlier, Wetangula said the controversy would not damage Kenya-Sudanese relations.

Sudan's government has been fighting rebels in Darfur since 2003. The U.N. says at least 300,000 people have been killed and more than 2.7 million displaced from their homes.