AU moves summit to shield Sudan’s Bashir


The African Union announced its 19th annual summit in July would be Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, after Malawi withdrew its bid on Sudanese concerns.

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, (UPI) — The African Union announced its 19th annual summit in July would be Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, after Malawi withdrew its bid on Sudanese concerns.

Malawi last week withdrew its offer to host the next AU summit because the African bloc had invited Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to attend.

The AU, in a statement, said it decided to move the summit following consultations with member states.

“It has been decided that the 19th summit will be held at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on the same dates (July 9-16),” the bloc said in a statement.

Malawi is a party to the Rome Statute that created the International Criminal Court.

The ICC in 2009 issued an arrest warrant for Bashir on war crimes charges in Darfur. The United Nations estimates that at least 300,000 people in the region died since 2003 as a result of fighting between rebel forces and the government-backed Janjaweed militia.

Outgoing ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo told the U.N. Security Council last week that Khartoum’s refusal to comply with the warrant was “a direct challenge to the council’s authority.”

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