Xinhua (China)

Sudan: Government Expels Kenyan Ambassador to Protest Arrest Warrant Against al-Bashir

Khartoum — Sudan's foreign ministry ordered the Kenyan ambassador in Khartoum to leave the country in 72 hours late on Monday in response to a Kenyan court's issuance of an arrest warrant against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

"The Kenyan ambassador has been notified to leave in 72 hours while the Sudanese ambassador in Nairobi has been asked to return to Khartoum," said Al-Obaid Ahmed Mirawih, spokesman of the Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Judge Nicholas Ombija of Kenya's Supreme Court ordered Monday the arrest of al-Bashir in response to a recommendation by the Kenyan chapter of the International Commission of Jurists.

Ombija said that Kenya was obliged to arrest al-Bashir since it was a signatory of the ICC Rome Statute which stipulates that any signatory country should abide by arrest warrants issued by the ICC.

"I grant the orders sought and direct the minister of internal security to arrest President Bashir should he set foot in Kenya in future," Ombija was reported to have said.

The ICC Rome Statute was established in 2002. But like many African countries, Kenya used to refuse to implement ICC's 2009 arrest warrant against al-Bashir.

In August 2010, the Sudanese president visited Nairobi to participate in the endorsement of Kenya's new constitution despite the warrant. Kenyan officials then said they were committed to the African Union resolutions in this respect.

Since the ICC issued the arrest warrant against him in March 2009, al-Bashir has visited Chad, Malawi and Kenya.

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