President al-Bashir defies ICC arrest warrant by visiting Uganda

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni signs joint communique the during the 8th summit of East African Community heads of State in Arusha

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni signs joint communique the during the 8th summit of East African Community heads of State in Arusha

Rights groups on Monday urged Ugandan authorities to arrest the visiting president of Sudan, who has always been wanted by the International Criminal Court for serious crimes.

President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan arrived for a three-day visit in Uganda on Monday, defying an global Criminal Court arrest warrant against him. Sudan's president is here for a two-day visit.

Rights groups on Monday urged Ugandan government to arrest the visiting president of Sudan, who has always been wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes.

"We, therefore, call upon the government of Uganda to fulfil its obligations under worldwide and domestic laws by arresting and surrendering President Omer al-Bashir", further said the joint statement.

It is al-Bashir's second visit to the East African nation since the warrants were issued.

South Africa, however, hosted al-Bashir in 2015 and did not arrest him.

In May 2016, al-Bashir, who was indicted by ICC on counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, was one of the dignitaries at Museveni's inauguration in Kampala. Some other African countries have called for a mass exit from the ICC treaty, saying the court unfairly targets Africans.

The Sudanese leader made the visit at the invitation of President Yoweri Museveni.

In May 2016, the Sudanese leader attended a re-election ceremony held for Museveni.

Security was tight at Entebbe International airport and surrounding areas as Bashir arrived.

Sudan buys 20 percent of its coffee from Uganda, a big export market for the product from which about $100 million is earned annually.

Uganda and Sudan continue to strengthen their bilateral relations.

After the eruption of war in South Sudan in 1983 between the Sudanese government and South Sudan rebels, tensions rose in the relations between Sudan and Uganda.

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