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Tuesday 20th March 2018

Uganda May Grant Bashir Asylum: Official

Politics

7Dnews London - AFP

Tue, 16 Apr 2019 20:37 GMT

Uganda studies granting asylum to the toppled Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir who is indicted on genocide charges at the International Criminal Court (ICC), said Ugandan official on Tuesday, April 16th.

"If Uganda is approached to grant asylum to al-Bashir it is an issue that can be considered at the highest level of our leadership," state minister for foreign affairs Henry Okello Oryem told AFP.

Oryem said that the call is being considered for al-Bashir’s key role in mediating a peace deal in neighbouring South Sudan. “his asylum in Uganda is what the government of Uganda can consider.”

"[In the meantime] Uganda is keenly following the developments in Sudan and we ask the new leadership there to respect the aspirations of the Sudanese people among them peaceful transfer of power to the civilian rule," Oryem added.

Al-Bashir's three-decade reign was ended last week by military leaders after four-month nationwide demonstrations.

Protest leaders say al-Bashir must face justice, however, the transitional military council currently leading the country has said it will not extradite the ousted leader.

The council says al-Bashir remains in custody, but has not specified his whereabouts or that of other senior regime leaders.

Uganda is one of several African nations which have hosted al-Bashir in the past without handing him over to the ICC, despite being signatories of the tribunal.

Al-Bashir faces charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity relating to the civil war in Darfur.

The war in Darfur broke out when ethnic minority rebels took up arms against al-Bashir's Arab-dominated government, which launched a brutal counter-insurgency.

The UN Security Council asked the ICC in 2005 to investigate the crimes in Darfur, where the UN estimates at least 300,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million displaced.

Africa