There are many reasons why South Africa would be ill-advised to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. These include, but are not limited to:
- placing our bilateral relations with Sudan, some of her neighbours and the wider Muslim world in harm’s way;
- weakening and dividing instead of strengthening the African Union and promoting continental unity. President Bashir is in South Africa at the invitation of the AU, which does not have sanctions over him. Arresting him would serve to weaken and divide the AU because it would imply that we are unable if not unwilling to protect the AU when it matters most.
By comparison, the US government does not arrest foreign Heads of State and Government, even when it has sanctions over them, when they attend the UN General Assembly every September. They would, without doubt, weaken and eventually destroy the UN were they to do so.
- creating a new…
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