WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Save Darfur Coalition, the Genocide Intervention Network and the Enough Project today condemned Kenya’s decision to welcome Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to Nairobi to attend a dedication ceremony for Kenya’s new constitution.
Kenya is the second member state of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to flout its obligation to arrest al-Bashir – who faces charges of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity in Darfur – when he entered its territory. Last month, Chad hosted al-Bashir for a Sahel-Saharan summit in N’djamena following a lengthy rapprochement between neighbors and longtime rivals Chad and Sudan.
In response to today’s news, Niemat Ahmadi of the Save Darfur Coalition said: “Kenya’s decision to invite al-Bashir to Nairobi to attend the dedication of Kenya’s new constitution is an affront to victims not only of al-Bashir’s grave crimes in Darfur, but also to the thousands of victims of brutal post-election violence in Kenya. Welcoming al-Bashir to Kenyan territory undermines efforts to hold perpetrators of mass atrocities in Sudan and in Kenya accountable for their crimes.
“As the ICC investigates possible crimes against humanity in Kenya, the Kenyan government must fulfill its obligation to cooperate with the ICC and enforce the warrant for al-Bashir’s arrest. All 113 member states of the ICC, and influential countries on the UN Security Council including the United States, must hold the Kenyan government accountable and press Kenya to immediately arrest al-Bashir and hand him over to the court.”
Mark Hanis, President of Genocide Intervention Network, said: “This event is supposed to be about celebrating the new Kenyan constitution the country taking a step forward. Regrettably, by failing to live up to their obligations under the Rome Statute, Kenya has taken a step back.”
David Sullivan of the Enough Project said: “This is a clear challenge for U.S. diplomacy at a critical moment. It's incumbent upon the Obama administration to strongly support both justice and peace in Sudan and ensure accountability for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. It seems clear that countries in the region see U.S. support for justice as little more than rhetoric at this point.”
The Save Darfur Coalition is an alliance of more than 190 faith-based, advocacy and human rights organizations – raises public awareness about the ongoing crisis in Darfur and mobilizes a unified response to promote peace throughout the Darfur region and all of Sudan. The coalition’s member organizations represent 130 million people of all ages, races, religions and political affiliations united together to help the people of Sudan. Please join the movement at www.SaveDarfur.org.
Genocide Intervention Network –Genocide Intervention Network is working to build the first permanent anti-genocide constituency, mobilizing the political will to stop genocide when it occurs. Accessible online at www.GenocideIntervention.net, Genocide Intervention Network empowers individuals with the tools to stop genocide.