An update on this story which speaks volumes about the priority of “human rights” in the constituent countries. Now, if there were some “defamation of religion” going on in Darfur, it might be quite a different story! “Arab leaders reject arrest warrant against Sudan’s Bashir,” from France24, March 30:
Arab leaders concluded their annual summit on Monday with a strong message of support for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who faces an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court (ICC) over alleged war crimes in Darfur.
“We stress our solidarity with Sudan and our rejection of the ICC decision against President Omar al-Bashir,” said the Arab League’s secretary general, Amr Moussa, as he read out the final Doha declaration.
Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir has enjoyed warm support from fellow Arab League leaders during the gathering in Qatar. Throughout the summit, delegates repeatedly denounced the arrest warrant issued on March 4 by the ICC over alleged war crimes in Darfur.
Syrian President Bashir al-Assad, whose country on Monday handed over the presidency of the annual Arab League summit to Qatar, echoed calls to support Bashir against the ICC.
“We are called upon today, not (just) to criticise the warrant (which) … we all agree is politicised, but to reject it categorically,” Assad said.
The Arab summit should “express absolute support for Sudan at this stage of the confrontation,” the Syrian leader said in his address to the heads of states.
No shortage of food and water in Darfur, says Bashir
While attending heads of state did not openly approve Bashir’s role in Darfur, “everyone is against the precedent of indicting a sitting head of state,” explained FRANCE 24″s special correspondent FranÃ§ois Picard, adding that it takes substantial efforts to impose international law “into uncharted territory”.
When or if Bashir steps down, would the Arab League be any more in favor of the indictment and arrest warrant?
Bashir is on his fourth trip abroad since the ICC issued its indictment.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon, who attended the summit opening despite the presence of Bashir, called on Khartoum to reverse its decision to expel 13 aid groups from war-battered Darfur, a measure taken in response to the ICC warrant.
“I urge the Sudanese authorities once again to reverse this decision,” Ban told the meeting.
In open defiance of Ban Ki-Moon, Bashir replied that there was no shortage of food and water in Darfur….