Don, Opiyo disagree on Bashir arrest in Kampala

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Museveni and Bashir in Entebbe

Activists raised a social media storm on Monday when they demanded that Ugandan President Museveni arrests Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir who is in the country on a two-day state visit.

Wanyama Don, the Senior Press Secretary to the president said al-Bashir is in Uganda as a guest of the president.

“He is on a two day official visit and it’s a continuation for the two countries to strengthen their bilateral relations,” he noted, explaining that African Union has announced itself on the arrest warrant on African leaders.

“The position of the AU said those arrest warrants shouldn’t be in place. Africa’s issues are issues which should be resolved by Africans,” Wanyama argued.

“You are not going to sit in The Hague to resolve Africa’s contradictions.”

The Sudanese leader was indicted by International Criminal Court [ICC]  for allegedly committing a genocide and war crimes in Darfur region.

Human rights lawyer Nicholas Opiyo says those who believe in the rule of law, believe that they must exercise the law the way it is.

He said South Africa, Kenya and Botswana all have standing arrest warrants for President Omar al-Bashir.

“President Museveni has been a cheerleader against ICC on the continent. He has lead a team of African leaders who think ICC is against them.”

He said ICC doesn’t arrest, it doesn’t have a police force and it relies on the cooperation of the state parties to the Rome Statute.

In a press conference held at Human Rights Network Uganda in Ntinda, Mohammed Ndifuna, the executive director of Hurrinet said Bashir should be arrested following the alleged killings he orchestrated.

“We need to arrest this man as directed by ICC. We have a chance today even if we failed in May last year. He has become a social distress. When people see us with him, they will think we don’t care about those he killed,” Ndifuna told press.