UGANDA: Women Activists Want Bashir Arrested

Monday, May 31, 2010
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Sudan President Omar el-Bashir must account for crimes committed in Dafur especially those against women and children, women leaders have demanded.

The call was made by Nobel Women's Initiative, a group of women who have won the Nobel prize. They are attending the ongoing ICC meeting at Munyonyo.

They called on governments to support and co-operate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) if the court is to achieve its mandate.

"Arrest President Omar el Bashir of Sudan, Joseph Kony, and his commanders and Bosco Nataganda of the Democratic Republic of Congo for war crimes and crimes against humanity as outlined in the arrest warrants," the Prof. Wangari Maathai, chairperson of the group, told a press conference yesterday.

Wangari called on the states that subscribe to the Rome Statute to support the ICC in reaching out to victims, conducting investigations and enforcing court orders within their jurisdictions.

"This mandate will be ineffective and this opportunity lost if states parties do not call on the states that have ratified the international law to arrest Bashir," the group said in a statement.

The group called on the governments to review national laws from a gender equality perspective in order to bring national laws into compliance with the Rome Statute and international standards.

They also want the governments to ensure the safety of witnesses, victims and intermediaries who participate in the justice process.

The group also wants the governments to monitor the incorporation of a gender perspective into the work of the ICC.