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By Godfrey Olukya 16-7-2013

Although ICC indicted Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir was supposed to spend two days in Nigeria, he spent there only one day and left after several human rights organizations in the country demanded for his immediate arrest.

Bashir went to Nigeria on Sunday to attend an African Union health summit which was due to end today ( Tuesday.) According to several media houses, he left Nigeria after demands for his arrest on war crimes charges.

Rights activists greatly criticized Bashir’s visit and said they were planning to go to court to try to force Nigeria to arrest him.

An official at Sudanese embassy in Nigeria told the press that Bashir left yesterday although the summit is supposed to end today.

Mohammed Moiz said,” He left yesterday afternoon because he had another pressing engagement.’

However, Nelson Okwamehe, one of the human rights activists who were advocating for immediate arrest of Bashir said, ”He was made
uncomfortable by our persistent call for his arrest.He lost nerves and fled.”

President Bashir’s departure from Abuja came as the Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC) also requested Nigeria to immediately arrest and to surrender him to the ICC.

The Chamber noted that the situation in Darfur was referred to the ICC by resolution 1593 of the United Nations Security Council and that, according to article 87(7) of the Rome Statute, where a State Party fails to comply with a request to cooperate by the Court contrary to the provisions of this Statute the Court may make a finding to that effect and refer the matter to the Assembly of States Parties or, where the Security Council referred the matter to the Court, to the Security Council”.

Nigeria defended welcoming Bashir to the country for the summit despite war crimes charges against him saying it was doing so in the
spirit of AU.

The Hague-based court in 2009 and 2010 issued warrant against Bashir for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide over the conflict in Sudan’s Darfur region.

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