The Indian government has clarified that Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, accused of war crimes, will attend the India-Africa summit later this month, despite the International Criminal Court (ICC) calling for his arrest.
India is not party to the Rome Statute that created the ICC, which is an independent international court, and New Delhi is not expected to oblige it by arresting al-Bashir, government sources said.
The Sudan President was declared a war criminal by the ICC for alleged genocide and war crimes during the Darfur conflict in 2003, in which lakhs were killed. Two arrest warrants had been issued against him in 2009 and 2010. India has invited al-Bashir along with 54 heads of state for the third India-Africa Summit (IAFS).
Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh extended the invite to Bashir on September 19 in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan.
Though the ICC has not officially written to India asking it to arrest al-Bashir, the international court expects India contributes towards the goal of accountability for the “world’s worst crimes” by arresting him.
When asked about India’s position, Vikas Swarup, spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, said, “India is fully compliant with its international legal obligations.”
According to sources, India has “no legal or statutory requirement to arrest President al-Bashir as it not a signatory to the Rome Statute.