The International Crimes Division of the High court has issued an arrest warrant for former Sudan President Omar al-Bashir.
Justice Henry Peter Adonyo also ruled that Uganda violated its national and international obligations when it failed to arrest Bashir when he was in the country in 2016 and 2017 on charges of crimes against humanity, war crimes, extermination and others.
His ruling follows an application that was filed by the Uganda Victims Foundation accusing the government of failing to arrest Bashir.
“For avoidance of any doubt, this honourable court hereby issues its own warrant of arrest against Mr Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir whenever he sets foot within the territory of or under the control of the Republic of Uganda”, ruled Adonyo on Thursday.
In March 2009 and July 12th, 2010, the Pre-trial Chamber 1 of the ICC issued a warrant of arrest against Bashir who was by that time the President of Sudan for war crimes against humanity committed in Darfur.
All ICC member states were accordingly informed to arrest Bashir whenever he visited the countries. Bashir attended the swearing-in ceremony of President Yoweri Museveni in 2016. Bashir again visited Uganda in 2017 at the invitation of Museveni.
Last week, a Sudanese court convicted and sentenced Bashir to two years in jail on charges of corruption, receiving illegal gifts and possessing foreign currency.
In a related development
A Kenyan judge issued a warrant on Monday for Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, wanted by an international court for genocide, after the government failed to arrest him during a visit last year.The high court ruling means Bashir’s arrest “should be effected by the Attorney General and the Minister for Internal Security should he ever set foot in Kenya,” Judge Nicolas Ombija said.
Kenya has ratified the International Criminal Court’s founding Rome statute, which theoretically obliges it to execute the court’s warrants, but failed to arrest the Sudanese leader when he visited the country in August 2010.
Bashir attended a ceremony in Nairobi to mark the adoption of Kenya’s new constitution.
After he left the country a free man, the Kenyan chapter of the International Commission of Jurists, an association of legal professionals that promotes human rights, approached the courts to issue a warrant.
“Bashir came in August and we filed (our suit) in October 2010.
Chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo accuses Bashir of having personally instructed his forces to annihilate the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups in Darfur.
About 300,000 people have died since conflict broke out in the region in 2003, when ethnic minority rebels took up arms against the Arab-dominated regime for a greater share of resources and power, according to UN figures.
Sudan’s government says 10,000 have been killed.
Bashir had planned a second trip to Kenya, this time to attend a regional development summit that had been scheduled to be held in Nairobi in October last year.