7 November 2012

Sudan Rules Out President Bashir's Arrest in Juba

Sudan has said it does not expect that President Omar al-Bashir will be arrested and handed over to the International Criminal Court (ICC) during his visit to Juba, South Sudan.

The ICC has issued an arrest warrant against President al-Bashir over alleged genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed since 2003 in Darfur.

The Deputy Speaker of Sudan's bi-cameral National Assembly, Haju Gassm al-Sid, said in a press statement published on Wednesday that any "negative action" by South Sudan against President al-Bashir during the visit to Juba would be regarded as a declaration of war.

He said the visit, the second to Juba by the Sudanese leader, is not shrouded with fears and that the security arrangements to be taken during the visit are normal.

PANA reported that the visit is expected to take place this month, after a joint committee on security and political issues, currently meeting in Juba, would have concluded its assignment.

The visit is aimed at giving an impetus to a pact, signed recently by the two countries, on the resumption of oil and other economic cooperation.

It will also be a show of support for President Salva Kiir, who is reported to be under pressure at home.

He was said to have escaped an attempt on his life, a coup against his government and pressure from politicians from Abyei, a disputed area, because they think he was mild with Khartoum on the issue. NAN

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