HUMAN RIGHTS LEADER CONDEMNS MALAWI FOR ALLOWING WANTED WAR CRIMINAL INTO COUNTRY
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(Washington, DC) – United to End Genocide President Tom Andrews released the following statement today condemning Malawi’s decision to allow Sudanese President and wanted war criminal Omar al-Bashir into the country:
“Omar al-Bashir should not be walking on a red carpeted tarmac, he belongs in a jail cell in the Hague. It is utterly unconscionable that the government of Malawi plans to welcome Omar al-Bashir into its country – a mass murderer who is wanted for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court. Not only is Bashir responsible for the deaths of 300,000 people in Darfur, but as we speak he is adding to his rap sheet, committing atrocities against civilians in South Kordofan and Blue Nile. Bashir’s indiscriminate bombing of civilians and blocking of food aid has displaced over half a million people this year and is setting up a humanitarian catastrophe that could threaten over a million people.
“At issue is whether or not committing genocide has consequences. World leaders need to answer that question. Those who are suffering under the thumb of this monster – and those who will suffer in the future if the world refuses to hold those who commit genocide accountable – cannot afford silence and diplomatic niceties from government leaders. President Obama – and other world leaders – should be condemning this outrage in the strongest and clearest of terms while calling for the apprehension of Bashir.”
Malawi has said that it will allow Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to attend a regional trade summit starting Friday, October 14. The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued arrest warrants for Bashir for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide in Darfur, where over 300,000 people have died since 2003. All ICC signatories, including Malawi, are obligated to arrest Bashir. Since the issuance of the arrest warrant, Bashir has traveled to ICC-signatory countries Chad, Kenya, and Djibouti as well as to non-ICC signatory countries including Eritrea, Egypt, Libya, Iran, and China. Several other planned visits have been canceled after public pressure, including to Central African Republic, Kenya, Turkey, Zambia, and Malaysia. On-going violence against civilians in the Abyei, South Kordofan, Blue Nile, and Darfur regions of Sudan has displaced over half a million people this year.