CAIRO: Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al-Beshir intends to attend the upcoming Arab Summit in Doha later this month despite an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court (ICC) hanging over his head.
“President Al-Beshir has received an invitation from Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani and agreed to take part in the Doha Arab summit, Sudanese Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ali Karti told reporters in Khartoum.
The invitation was delivered by Qatari Minister of State and Al-Thani’s personal envoy, Hamad bin Nasser bin Jassem al-Thani who met with Al-Bashir on Sunday.
The ICC has issued an arrest warrant for Al-Beshir over charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur, the conflict which, according to the UN, has led to the death of over 200,000 people and the displacement of 2.5 million since 2003.
Although Qatar is not a signatory of the Rome Statute that governs the ICC, it is the United Nations Security Council that referred the case to the ICC, and as such states that are members of the Security Council would be obligated to turn the Sudanese president in if he is on their soil.
The ICC has urged Qatar to execute the arrest under Security Council Resolution 1593 in 2005 under chapter VII of the Roma Statute. The court cannot try Al-Beshir in absentia.
ICC spokesperson Laurence Blairon told AFP, “The court counts on the cooperation of states and therefore of Qatar, but it does not have its own police force. Qatar is not a state member of the Rome Statute, the founding text of the ICC, but it is a member of the United Nations. The Security Council resolution that requires all states to cooperate with the court therefore applies to Qatar.