Wanted Bashir lands SA forum invite (Africa Review)

September 5, 2015

Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir could make another visit to South Africa in December following an invite to The Forum on China/Africa Cooperation.

Despite the controversy around President Bashir’s last visit to South Africa a few months ago, President Jacob Zuma and the former this week committed to working together in agriculture, science, energy and mining.

Should President Bashir attend the December forum, South Africa would, once again, be in the spotlight with the International Criminal Court (ICC) likely to nudge the country over its obligation to turn him over to answer charges of war crimes in Darfur.

President Bashir is wanted on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

Earlier this year, President Zuma ignored an international arrest warrant and allowed the Sudanese leader to South Africa when he attended the African Union summit.

Investigate charges

The likelihood of a Bashir visit to South Africa was revealed in the Chinese capital after celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War where President Zuma was also a guest.

The two leaders held what they called a warm bilateral meeting in Beijing.

The office of the President in Pretoria defended the meeting saying it was “to discuss strengthening relations between South Africa and Sudan”.

Pretoria also confirmed president Zuma had already accepted President Bashir’s invitation to Khartoum, adding that 16 bilateral agreements had been concluded between the two countries to date.

These developments come a few days after President Zuma’s African National Congress (ANC) used its majority to block the opposition Democratic Alliance’s motion to establish an ad hoc committee to investigate charges of impeachment against the president for his decision to allow the Sudanese leader’s escape from South Africa on June 15 ,in violation of domestic and international law.