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Bashir Kenya visit risks rift with ICC

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Bashir Kenya visit risks rift with ICC


The signing of Kenya’s new constitution on Friday has been overshadowed by the attendance of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court on genocide charges.

The Hague-based ICC wants Bashir to face allegations that he supported ethnic cleansing in Darfur by pro-government militias.

He also face charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes.

As an ICC member Kenya is required to cooperate with the court but chose not to arrest Bashir.
The ICC has no police force and relies on its members to enforce the arrest warrants it issues.

Kenyan Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetengula dismissed concern over the visit, saying: “President Bashir is the president of a sovereign state that is a friend and a neighbour to Kenya.”

Wetengula added: “He honoured us with his presence and we are very grateful.”

Bashir joined other African leaders for the festivities in the capital Nairobi.

Many see Kenya’s new constitution as the most important political event since independence from Britain in 1963.

Changes include new limits on presidential powers and the creation of an upper house of parliament.

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