16 July 2013 The International Criminal Court (ICC) requested Nigeria to arrest Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir, who is wanted for alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, while he is on a visit to Abuja and surrender him to the Court.
In March 2009, ICC judges issued arrest warrants against Mr. Al-Bashir for crimes allegedly committed in the Sudanese region of Darfur, where an estimated 300,000 people have died since 2003 due to fighting between rebel groups and Government forces and their allies, militiamen known as the Janjaweed.
Mr. Al-Bashir was reportedly in Nigeria for an African health summit that concluded today.
Nigeria is a State party to the Rome Statute that established the ICC, and has the obligation to execute the Court's orders, according to a news release issued by the Court.
Under the Rome Statute, States that fail to comply with a request to cooperate with the Court may be referred to the Assembly of States Parties or to the Security Council.
Since the arrest warrants were issued, Mr. Al-Bashir has travelled to a number of African countries that are parties to the Rome Statute, all of whom have failed to arrest the Sudanese leader and surrender him to the Court.
Located in The Hague, in the Netherlands, the ICC is an independent, permanent court that tries persons accused of the most serious crimes of international concern – namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes – if national authorities with jurisdiction are unwilling or unable to do so genuinely.
The Darfur region of Sudan is one of eight situations currently under investigation by the ICC. The others are northern Uganda, the Central African Republic (CAR), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Kenya, Libya, Mali and Côte d'Ivoire.
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