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ICC informs Security Council of visit by Sudanese leader and war crimes indictee

12 May 2011 – The International Criminal Court (ICC) today informed the Security Council that Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir – who is wanted by the tribunal on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity – has recently visited Djibouti, which is supposed to enforce arrest warrants issued by the court.

The ICC issued arrest warrants in March 2009 and July 2010 for Mr. Bashir over crimes he allegedly committed in the Darfur region of western Sudan, where fighting has raged since 2003. This made him the first sitting head of State to be indicted by the court.

On Sunday he travelled to Djibouti to attend a ceremony marking the inauguration of that country’s President.

Djibouti, as a State Party to the Rome Statute that established the court, is obliged to enforce its orders, but Mr. Bashir was not arrested during the visit.

In a statement to the press the ICC said its pre-trial chamber had informed both the Security Council and the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute about the Djibouti visit “in order for them to take any measure they may deem appropriate.”

The court – which is based in The Hague in the Netherlands – issued similar decisions last year when Mr. Bashir visited Kenya and Chad. The number of States Parties to the Rome Statute is currently 114.

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