The Southern African nation of Malawi recently took steps to support international efforts to bring to justice those responsible for war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity in Sudan’s troubled Darfur region.
The United States welcomes Malawi’s refusal to host Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir -- the subject of outstanding International Criminal Court arrest warrants -- and the example it sets for its neighbors and other nations. We are gravely concerned about the situation in Sudan, and the role that continuing impunity for crimes committed in Darfur has played in forestalling a just and enduring peace for the people of Sudan and the region.
Scheduled to host the annual summit meeting of the African Union (AU) this July, Malawi reportedly took steps to prevent President al-Bashir from attending the conference. The International Criminal Court has charged him with war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide related to his actions in Darfur. We understand Malawi asked the AU not to invite al-Bashir to the Summit and stated that he would be arrested if he entered the country.
The July summit will reportedly now be held in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa. Malawi’s President has indicated she will not attend. Malawi’s actions on this issue are consistent with a range of accomplishments achieved in President Joyce Banda’s first 100 days in office, which the United States commends.
Malawi joins others, including Zambia and Botswana, in their support for the ICC’s effort to hold the Sudanese president to account. The United States stands with these and other nations that refuse to welcome the individuals subject to outstanding arrest warrants related to the Darfur situation to their countries, and we commend those that have spoken out against al-Bashir’s continued travels, including to next month’s AU summit. It is a serious cause for concern that the individuals subject to the outstanding ICC arrest warrants remain at large. Lasting peace in Darfur requires accountability and justice.
We continue to call on the government of Sudan and all other parties to the conflict to cooperate fully with the ICC, as required by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1593.