Sudan summons Dutch envoy over PM statements on Bashir

(KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese ministry of Foreign Affairs today summoned the Dutch Ambassador to express the government outrage over the statements made by the prime minister of Netherlands Jan Peter Balkenende at the UN General Assembly meetings that took place this month in New York.

. Jan Peter Balkenende, Prime Minister of the Netherlands (AFP)

Balkenende said he thought it is “unacceptable to the Dutch government that someone like President Bashir of Sudan, against whom an arrest warrant is outstanding, should be allowed to move freely in a country that is an [International Criminal Court] ICC partner,”

Bashir who is wanted by the ICC for genocide and war crimes managed to travel without issues to Kenya and Chad despite both states having a legal obligation to arrest the Sudanese leader as members of the Hague tribunal. The two countries cited the African Union (AU) decision barring Bashir’s arrest on the continent.

Sudan official news agency (SUNA) quoted the head of Europe bureau at the Sudanese foreign ministry Philemon Majak as saying that his ministry has submitted “a sharp-worded diplomatic protest to the Netherlands government against these statements, describing the statements given by the Dutch Prime Minister as unacceptable and affirmed the Netherlands stance which aims to pollicisation of the mechanism of the international justice and targeting the African countries”.

He said that the Netherlands, with these statements, “reflected it stand against the will of the African Union, the Arab League and all the justice-loving people who clearly rejected the false ICC allegations against Sudan and its leadership”.

Vice President Ali Osman Taha told the UN General Assembly this week that ICC involvement in Sudan should be scrapped.

“The involvement of the ICC is a threat to the peaceful settlement expected by the country” in Darfur and other regions threatened by conflict.

He called the case “crude political intervention” intended to be “a tool to break the will of people” of Sudan.

“We completely reject this intervention which has no place in international law, logic or policy.” Taha praised African nations which have allowed Bashir to travel to their countries for international meetings.

He called on the UN Security Council “to withdraw the file completely from the ICC” and let it be handled by Sudan.

(ST)

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