Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir gestures during the photocall before the opening of the 25th African Union (AU) Summit at Sandton Convention Center in Johannesburg, South Africa, on June 14, 2015. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir attends the 25th AU Summit here despite International Criminal Court's arrest warrants. (Xinhua/Zhai Jianlan) (lrz)
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir gestures during the photocall before the opening of the 25th African Union (AU) Summit at Sandton Convention Center in Johannesburg, South Africa, on June 14, 2015. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir attends the 25th AU Summit here despite International Criminal Court's arrest warrants. (Xinhua/Zhai Jianlan) (lrz)

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has urged South Africa to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir who is in the country for the 25th African Union (AU) summit, ICC said in a press release on Saturday.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir gestures during the photocall before the opening of the 25th African Union (AU) Summit at Sandton Convention Center in Johannesburg, South Africa, on June 14, 2015. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir attends the 25th AU Summit here despite International Criminal Court's arrest warrants. (Xinhua/Zhai Jianlan) (lrz)
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir gestures during the photocall before the opening of the 25th African Union (AU) Summit at Sandton Convention Center in Johannesburg, South Africa, on June 14, 2015. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir attends the 25th AU Summit here despite International Criminal Court’s arrest warrants. (Xinhua/Zhai Jianlan) (lrz)

According to Sudan’s official SUNA news agency, al-Bashir arrived in Johannesburg Saturday evening, leading a high-level delegation including the foreign minister and other top Sudanese officials.
The South African Broadcasting Corporation tweeted that al- Bashir has been welcomed by South African officials and Sudanese diplomats on his arrival in the country.
The Sudanese leader’s trip was not expected until recently as South Africa has reiterated commitment to implement an arrest warrant issued by ICC against him for allegedly war crimes in Sudan’s Darfur region.
South Africa as a signatory to the Rome statute would be obliged to arrest al-Bashir if he arrives in the country.
However, African leaders have long criticized the ICC for being biased against Africans.
AU’s rotating chairman Robert Mugabe said earlier that Africa must pull out of the ICC and set up its own criminal court to deal with crimes against humanity.
The Zimbabwe president had urged during the previous AU summit in January that the issue to be put on the agenda of the June summit.
Since the issuance of the ICC warrant in March 2009, al-Bashir has visited many countries including African countries signatories to the ICC statute such as Kenya, Malawi and Nigeria. Enditem

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