Bashir’s “Visit” to Kenya

by Kevin Jon Heller

Julian’s latest snide swipe at the ICC focuses on Bashir’s visit to Kenya, which he describes as a “slap in the face to the ICC Prosecutor and the defenders of the Bashir arrest warrant.”  Not surprisingly, Julian conveniently fails to mention the details of Bashir’s visit:

Sudanese President Omar al Bashir curiously flew in through Nairobi’s Wilson Airport, and not the traditional Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, The Standard On Sunday can report. And Kenya closed its airspace to facilitate President Bashir’s arrival and departure in a well co-ordinated and guarded operation known only to a few, sources said.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga was kept in the dark over the surprise visit, which has kicked off an international storm in view of President Bashir’s status as a wanted man at The Hague.

Security sources indicated that Bashir had negotiated his security and received guarantees before honouring Kenya’s invitation.

[snip]

He attended the national ceremony to promulgate the new Constitution but skipped the luncheon hosted at State House, Nairobi, by the President.

The Sudanese leader, whose arrival at Nairobi’s Uhuru Park in the company of Tourism Minister Najib Balala took Kenyans by surprise, has been indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for allegedly perpetrating genocide and crimes against humanity in the country’s Darfur region.

So, Bashir snuck into Kenya without the Prime Minister’s knowledge, attended the Constitution ceremony, and then snuck out without attending the state luncheon.

Yep, that silly arrest warrant has had no effect whatsoever.  All heads of state sneak around behind the backs of their colleagues, don’t they?

http://opiniojuris.org/2010/08/29/bashirs-visit-to-kenya/

3 Responses

  1. The truly scary part of this is that so many high-level people in Kenya’s government were privy to the information and facilitated the visit.  Even if the prime minister had no idea of what was going on, it seems like even his awareness would not have meant an arrest.  After all, the PM has to rely upon his own people to carry it out, or upon enough secrecy to coordinate international assistance in arresting al-Bashir.

  2. Lenore,

    No question you’re right.  But it says something about Bashir’s pariah status that he can only visit Kenya, an African country, if the Prime Minister is kept in the dark.  Not exactly presidential…

  3. Sigh genocidal leaders are so encumbering.  Getting states to act is hard work.  No one said it would be easy.  At each setback, no need to be so depressed or depressing.  If we insist, it will happen.  See Charles Taylor!
    Best,
    Ben

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. There are no trackbacks or pingbacks associated with this post at this time.