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Is Africa Union justified in moving its summit to Ethiopia

June 20, 2012

The African Union has moved its July summit to the Ethiopian capital after Malawi blocked the attendance of Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), the bloc said

Malawi last month asked the African Union to prevent Bashir from taking part in the event, saying his visit would have “implications” for its aid-dependent economy.

As an ICC member state, Malawi would be obliged to arrest Bashir if he enters its territory. Bashir is accused of masterminding genocide and other atrocities in Darfur. The ICC’s chief prosecutor has called for aid cuts to countries that fail to detain him.

African heads of state voted in 2009 not to cooperate with the ICC indictments, saying they would hamper efforts to end Sudan’s multiple conflicts, and criticised the court for unfairly targeting African countries.

But what message is Africa Union sending to the rest of African leaders by moving its summit from Malwi to Ethiopia. Is the Afican Union justified in moving the summit?

Comments

Yes, the AU did what was right. The issue of Bashir has been dealt with several times by AU summits with the current AU position being that arresting Bashir will jeorpadise the peace process in Sudan, and that member states should not implement the ICC warrant of arrest. The AU Summit hosting rules are also clear that all hosting nations should send an invitation to all heads of states as and when they are hosting AU Heads of States and Government Summits. What Malawi did was a break of the above. what is even more disturbing is that Malawi’s reasoning is not about its belief in universal jurisdiction or plight of the darfurians, rather aid…aid ….aid. basically the consequences of hosting Bashir in as far as aid flow is concerned. Now, that is very sad, because this just goes further to reinforce the notion of “he who pays the ……” can someone please help me finish this. its embarrassing for Africa and its a big shame for Malawi. and for crying out even louder, why didnt malawi do what other countries, e.g. Uganda, South Africa, have done, send an invitation to Bashir and a diplomatic envoy to let him know that if he came, they wont be guaranteeing his safety. Madam Joyce Banda is out to make a name however, she needs to learn and learn real fast that she is operating in an extremely political arena where things dont work on first value.

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