ICC again refers Chad to UN over refusal to arrest Bashir

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The world war crimes court said Tuesday it was referring Chad's refusal to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to the UN Security Council, the second time the north African country has done so.

The International Criminal Court has issued arrest warrants for Bashir, who is wanted on three counts of genocide, five counts of crimes against humanity and two war crimes counts committed against the inhabitants of Sudan's Darfur region.

"Today, the pre-trial chamber of the ICC decided that the Republic of Chad failed to cooperate with the court by not arresting and surrendering Omar al-Bashir during his visit to Chad on 7 and 8 August 2011," the Hague-based court said.

"The chamber decided to refer the matter to both the United Nations Security Council and the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute, founding treaty of the ICC," it added in a statement.

Chad officially became a signatory to the Rome Statute on January 1, 2007, and had an obligation to detain Bashir on its soil during his visit to attend the swearing-in of Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno for a new five-year term.

It's the second time the ICC has referred Chad's non-compliance to the UN Security Council, following Bashir's previous two-day visit to his north African neighbour in July for a summit of the Community of Sahel-Saharan (CEN-SAD) states.

On Monday it also referred Malawi, after Bashir went there on October 15, as the Sudanese strongman continued to thumb his nose at the court.

Djibouti and Kenya have also been referred to the UN after visits by the Sudanese leader.

"No measures have so far been adopted," on any of the countries referred, ICC spokesman Fadi el-Abdallah told AFP adding "it is up to the UN Security Council and the Assembly of States Parties to take any measure they may deem appropriate to ensure full cooperation with the ICC".

The ICC was created through the adoption of its founding statute at a Rome conference in July 1998, and started operating in The Hague in 2002.

The ICC is the world's only independent, permanent tribunal with the jurisdiction to try genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

All cases opened by the court so far relate to crimes committed in Africa.

© 2011 AFP

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