Malawi quits as African Union summit host over Bashir


Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir speaks to the People's Assembly in the capital Khartoum on July 12, 2011.



Malawi has said it will not host the African Union summit in July because of a dispute over the attendance of Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir, who has been indicted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes in Darfur.

Malawi pulled out Friday as AU summit host after the bloc insisted that all African leaders, including Bashir, be allow to attend, Agence France-Presse reported

Bashir is wanted by The Hague-based ICC for alleged crimes including genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

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"After considering the interests of Malawians, I want to inform Malawians that the cabinet met today and decided it was not interested to accept the conditions by the African Union, therefore Malawi is not hosting the summit," Vice President Khumbo Kachali said in a brief address on state radio, AFP reported.

"The commission said if Malawi was not willing to host al-Bashir, the venue should be shifted to another country," Kachali said, adding that the summit will now be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where AU headquarters are located. 

The BBC noted that Malawi's President Joyce Banda, successor to former leader Bingu wa Mutharika who died in office in April, has put in place reforms to appease foreign aid donors.

According to the Nyasa Times, Banda said last week that Bashir would be arrested should he come to Malawi for the summit.

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