As you surely heard, Sudan’s president, Omar al-Bashir, was able to visit South Africa and then fly out today ahead of calls for his arrest for charges pending against him in the International Criminal Court stemming from the genocide in Darfur. He was able to get away because some in South Africa do not accept the authority of the ICC.
National Public Radio covered the story this morning, and reporter Ofeibea Quist-Arcton was asked by host David Green why authorities in South Africa let him get away. She let this slip in the final seconds:
Quist-Arcton: It’s not just South Africa. I have to tell you that the African Union, the leaders of the African Union– have instructed member states not to cooperate with the ICC, which they say is anti-African, anti-poor, singling out African leaders. And why hasn’t it gone after the likes of George W. Bush, Tony Blair, [Benjamin] Netanyahu in Israel because they are war criminals, say many Africans.
Green: We’re out of time Ofeibea.
Just now on National Public Radio, David Crane, who prosecuted a case involving Sierra Leone at the ICC, said that the defiance of the ICC by South Africa will diminish the court’s authority. But asked a similar question to the one this morning, he said there is no double standard when it comes to African leaders. Neither he nor host Melissa Block mentioned George W. Bush, Tony Blair, and Netanyahu.