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ICC urges Djibouti to cooperate with arrest of al-Bashir

The International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] on Thursday informed [press release] the UN Security Council and the Assembly of States Parties about a recent visit by Sudanese President Omar-al Bashir [case materials; JURIST news archive] to Djibouti [BBC country profile] for the inauguration of the country's president. The notice also served as a reminder to Djibouti that, as a state party to the Rome Statute [text, PDF], it had an obligation to cooperate with warrants for arrests issued by the ICC for the Sudanese president. Al-Bashir faces seven counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity as well as three charges of genocide [JURIST reports] in relation to the Darfur conflict [BBC backgrounder]. The ICC rests its authority on enforcing Djibouti's obligation on prior decisions it has made regarding al-Bashir's arrest. The ICC reminded the states parties that pursuant to the warrants of arrests issued in March 2009 and July 2010 against al-Bashir, "the ICC Registrar had issued and transmitted requests for arrest and surrender of Mr. Al Bashir to all States Parties to the Rome Statute, including Djibouti." In addition to informing the council, the ICC has left room for the ICC and state party members to use any appropriate measures to effectuate the arrest of al-Bashir.

Other countries have also been reported for failing to arrest al-Bashir while he has been present inside their borders. In October, the ICC requested that Kenya arrest al-Bashir [JURIST report] while he visited that year for a second time. Previously, a-Bashir had visited Kenya for the signing of the country's new constitution [JURIST report]. Following his visit, the ICC reported Kenya [decision, PDF; JURIST report] to the UN Security Council and the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute for the violation in not arresting al-Bashir. Also following his August visit, former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan urged Kenya to reaffirm its cooperation with the ICC by arresting al-Bashir [JURIST report]. In July, the ICC called for al-Bashir's arrest [JURIST report] during his visit to Chad, marking the first visit to an ICC member state since the warrants were issued. The ICC also reported Chad [decision, PDF] to the Security Council and Assembly of States Parties.

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