Conflict & Justice

Sudan expels Kenyan ambassador

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Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir speaks to the press on Oct. 30, 2011, in Khartoum. Bashir is the only sitting president wanted by the ICC for war crimes.

Credit:

ASHRAF SHAZLY

Sudan on Monday night expelled Kenya's ambassador in Khartoum after a High Court judge in Nairobi issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, the Sudan Tribune reported.

Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) over alleged crimes against humanity and genocide in the western region of Darfur.

The High Court issued the arrest warrant on Monday after Bashir was permitted to visit Kenya in August 2010.

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Handing down his ruling, Judge Nicholas Ombija said Kenya, being a signatory to the Rome Statute, which established the ICC, was obliged to arrest Bashir “should he set foot in Kenya in future.”

Following the ruling, Sudan ordered the Kenyan ambassador to leave the country within 72 hours, while also recalling its ambassador in Nairobi, the BBC reported.

The case was brought by the local chapter of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ).

ICJ deputy and programs director Mwaura Nderi praised the ruling:

"If the government does not execute this court warrant, it will not only be failing in its obligations as set out in the Rome Statute but also putting unnecessary and undue strain on the already bruised human rights records of the country after post-election violence serious crimes."

It is not clear if the Kenyan government intends to appeal the High Court decision, the Sudan Tribune reported.

Bashir, the first head of state to be indicted by the ICC, denies the charges against him.

The United Nations estimates that 300,000 have died 2.7 million people have been displaced since the war in Darfur began in 2003.