Failure to arrest Bashir violated S.Africa constitution: judge

Failure to arrest Bashir violated S.Africa constitution: judge

A South African judge today criticised the government for allowing Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), to leave the country in defiance of a court order.

"The conduct of the respondents to the extent that they have failed to take steps to arrest and detain the President of Sudan Omar al-Bashir is inconsistent with the constitution of the Republic of South Africa," Judge Dunstan Mlambo said.

Bashir flew out of South Africa earlier today, dodging the court order for him to stay as judges weighed up whether he should be arrested over alleged war crimes and genocide.

Bashir had travelled to Johannesburg for an African Union summit that was overshadowed by the ICC calling for him to be detained on long-standing warrants over the Darfur conflict.
South Africa is a signatory of the ICC, which has often been criticised for only targeting Africa leaders.

At the summit, Bashir attended a group photograph yesterday along with South African host President Jacob Zuma and Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, who is the chair of the 54-member group.

Today was the final day of the summit. Sudan officials in Johannesburg had earlier brushed off the court case and said the South African government had given them assurances about Bashir's trip before the summit.

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