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Kenyan Court Issues Arrest for Omar Al-Bashir; Sudan Cuts Ties

A Kenyan Court's Issuance of an arrest warrant against Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir has led to a rupture in relations.
By Aryeh ben Hayim
First Publish: 11/29/2011, 9:53 PM

Sudan has expelled the ambassador of Kenya in response to the issuance of an arrest warrant by a Kenyan court for Sudanese president Omar Hassan Al-Bashir on charges of crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide. The Sudanese ambassador to Kenya has also been recalled. 

The Kenyan Supreme Court responded to a petition by a Kenyan NGO – the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ-Kenya) and the Sudanese president will be arrested if he ever set foot in Kenya. This was locking the barn after the horses have escaped because the Sudanese president has already come and gone.

The African states have perversely rallied around Bashir and the African Union has passed several resolutions directing its members not to cooperate with the International Criminal Court in arresting Bashir. The Africans felt that they were being deliberately and unfairly singled out by the court.

The court has come down on African states visited by the Sudanese president and Kenya was referred to the UN Security Council for allowing the visit. Western nations and rights groups also joined the condemnation.

Another factor was the position of the junior coalition member the Orange Democratic Movement that is headed by Prime Minister Raila Odinga. Odinga owes his position and perhaps even his freedom to human rights groups after his party was originally denied influence by electoral fraud.  Odinga represents the minority Luo tribe.