In Summary
  • He placed tough conditions on Kenyan tea and used his influence as a key ally in negotiations for South Sudan peace to avoid arrest.
  • Al-Bashir was slapped with the first arrest warrant on five counts of crimes against humanity in Darfur, where his troops quelled a rebellion in 2013.

Ousted Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir spent a decade flexing trade muscles with countries like Kenya to avoid International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrants.

However, his toppling on Thursday could expose him.

As he left the office that protected him from arrests in Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria and South Africa, Al-Bashir, the first sitting President to be indicted by the International Criminal Court, will now have no immunity.

Perhaps he could look back at how he cited sovereignty, threatened flight bans on Kenya, placed tough conditions on Kenyan tea and used his influence as a key ally in negotiations for South Sudan peace to fight off arrest.

“Al-Bashir utilised the position he occupied to immunise himself. He never defended himself. Now that he is out of power, it is fertile ground to have him brought before the court,” Mr Samwel Mohochi, the executive director of the International Commission of Jurists-Kenya, told the Nation on Thursday.

MILITARY FACTOR

The ICJ-Kenya had once obtained a local warrant for arrest against Bashir, but which was later set aside by the Court of Appeal.

“We have never heard his side of the story. Many people have come before the ICC, some acquitted, others convicted. His guilt or innocence will be determined by the court.”

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