Arrest if Sudan’s Beshir visits World Cup: Zuma

Arrest if Sudan’s Beshir visits World Cup: Zuma
# 28 May 2010 02:01 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. Sudanese leader Omar al-Beshir, sworn in for a new term Thursday, will face arrest if he comes to next month’s World Cup in South Africa, President Jacob Zuma said, APA reports quoting website.
"South Africa respects the international law and certainly we are signatories and we abide by the law," Zuma told lawmakers, when asked in parliament if Beshir would be arrested under an international war crimes warrant.
In March 2009, Beshir became the first sitting leader to be indicted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the troubled Sudanese province of Darfur.
As a signatory to the conventions setting up the court, South Africa is legally bound to arrest him if Beshir comes to the country.
Beshir was sworn in to a new five-year term after April 11-15 polls which were marred by accusations of fraud and logistical problems.
South Africa -- which has still to announce which leaders will attend the June 11 to July 11 World Cup -- assisted Sudan’s national elections commission and sent an observer team under the African Union (AU).
"These elections, notwithstanding challenges, are viewed as a positive step towards the democratic transition of Sudan as envisaged" in the peace agreement, said Zuma.
South Africa has worked in Sudan by training and strengthening police services since the 2005 peace agreement to end a 21-year civil war.