Nairobi News

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South Africa court bid to arrest Sudan’s president

A South African court has issued an interim order preventing Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir from leaving the country.

It says Mr Bashir will have to stay until the court hears an application later on Sunday on whether he should be handed over to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.

Ma Bahir who is facing ICC war crimes and genocide charges over the Darfur conflict is in Johannesburg for an African Union (AU) summit.

Although the ICC had called on South Africa to arrest Al Bashir, the Sudanese leader was welcomed by South African government officials when he arrived in Johannesburg on Sunday.

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There are tensions between the ICC and the AU, with some on the continent accusing the court of unfairly targeting Africans.

The AU has previously urged the ICC to stop proceedings against sitting leaders.

The warrants against Mr Bashir, who denies the allegations, have severely restricted his overseas travel.

He has, however, visited friendly states in Africa and the Middle East.

The ICC has no police force and relies on member states to carry out arrests.

As a signatory to the treaty establishing the ICC, South Africa is committed to arrest President Bashir if he sets foot in the country, but correspondents have said this is unlikely to happen.